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fJ^O my old university friends I dedicate this 
sketch of Ireland's history, her people, her 
laws, and the alteration in those laws that I con- 
ceive is necessitated by the progress of events. 

I beg to assure those amongst them who have 
prospered in the various paths of life they have 
selected, that even when I have been unable 
personally to congratulate them on their success, 
the knowledge of it has afforded me the sin- 
cerest gratification, and I have recalled many 
friendly contests held in our Debating Society, 
and long chats after lectures. 

Happily our Alma Mater has turned out few 
who have not managed to secure Fortune's fa- 
vours, even when the fickle goddess has, at 




first, appeared to frown; but I have sincerely 
grieved over the death of some of my former 
class-fellows, despite the length of time which 
had elapsed since we last met. 

I believe that all I now address, especially 
those who are in Parliament, will give a dis- 
passionate consideration to the facts I state and 
the remedies I propose, and I am certain that 
those who penetrate my incognito will know 
that I write from earnest conviction, unin- 
fluenced by private feelings or interests. 





















irish history continued till the commencement 
oe 1868 . . 123 











AT WILL, ETC. ... . . . . . . ... . 169 












THE PRESENT SYSTEM . . ■ . . . 238 























"^^HAT is the English idea of Ireland and of 
the Irish people? It is an idea formed 
from novelists like Lever, who must idealize 
and exaggerate, and from tourists who have 
hurried through the country on a three weeks' 
trip, and upon whom a rainy day or a bad dinner 
makes far deeper impression than the state of 
trade and agriculture, and the real character of 
the people; yet how eagerly these ladies and 
gentlemen rush into print, and are accepted as 
authorities by the public. 

""Were you ever in Ireland at all?" said one 



a saxon's remedy 

of the smartest of the Irish M.P.'s to a great 
English engineer who was giving very strong 
evidence about a contested railway extension. 
" Never in my life," returned the engineer ; " and 
I wish to state that I can form a much better 
and more unbiassed opinion than if I had run 
over for a week or so ; now, I am guided by 
printed authorities, whereas if I had been on the 
spot, some prejudiced person or another would 
certainly have got hold of me and would have in- 
fluenced my judgment/' "Whether the engineer 
was right or wrong in his convenient opinion, 
the fact remains, that the people of England 
generally know little of Ireland, which they look 
upon as a country of bogs and mountains, with a 
large river and lake here and there, with four 
towns, namely, Dublin, Belfast, Cork, and Lime- 
rick, where some trade is done, and with five 
things tourists ought to see, — i.e., the Devil's 
Glen, the Seven Churches, the Meeting of the 
Waters, the Lakes of Killarney, and the Giant's 
Causeway. When these things, popularly sup- 


posed to lie together all in a heap, have been 
done, it is believed Ireland is exhausted, and the 
adventurous tourist may sit down and write a 
description of the island. As for the people, 
those in the towns who do not beg, drive cars, 
wear very large old great-coats, dilapidated hats 
with a short pipe in the string-band, and when 
not singing tell stories, of w r hich " Bedad " and 
"Yer honor" form a considerable portion. In 
the country, amongst the bogs and mountains 
are the ruined mansions of the aristocracy, who 
stalk abroad to sell up their wretched tenantry, 
and when not shot by these oppressed people 
— which, however, is their probable end — die 
victims to profuse hospitality, and to exceeding 
that sixteenth after-dinner tumbler of whisky 
punch which is the happy medium between 
necessary alcoholic defence against the exhala- 
tion from the bogs and dangerous trifling with 
the constitution. 

Complicating the relations between these land- 
lords and their miserable tenants, there is an 

b 2 

4 a s axon's remedy 

agent and middleman, but whether the agent 
and the middleman is the same person, or whether 
they are two different individuals, ho tourist ever 
yet made out — and novelists and dramatists 
leave the point obscure — but he is always 
brought to' shame, and if not shot or hung, 
it is the universal English opinion that he ought 
to be; at any rate, he acts as a safety-buffer 
between the landlord and tenant, and if the 
former is ever allowed to die naturally of whisky 
punch, it is because this rascal of an agent-mid- 
dleman is immolated instead. 

If, however, there is any doubt concerning the 
exact status of the compound middleman-agent, 
there is none about the peasantry. They are, in 
fact, farmers of the bog and mountain land, of 
which they hold about an acre each, and on 
which they usually grow potatoes. Who does 
not know their old dress-coats, their frieze over- 
coats, their knee-breeches, their brogues, shil- 
lelaghs, and general whisky-drinking and fight- 
ing propensities ? Do not all Englishmen know 


these poor Irish must be eternally giving 
away anything they have scraped together, for- 
getful of the rent, and then they must be sold 
up— i.e., the farming stock, consisting of one pig, 
must be, and they be, turned out of the cabin, and 
potato land, and all the rest of it? Of course 
the clergy play a conspicuous part. There is the 
Church of England representative, with all the 
emolument, and nothing to speak of in the way 
of work and congregation ; and there is the won- 
derful rollicking priest, kindly of heart, great in 
influence, fertile in expedients for getting his 
dues, and ready enough with a supple right hand 
to give to the poor, to empty a tumbler, to steady 
a raw four-year old at a stone wall, or, on occa- 
sion, to flourish a shillelagh. 

Now, my English friends, have I not sketched 
correctly your ideas of Ireland and the Irish? 
They were mine, I know, before I went to live 
there, and knew the country and people. I 
bought land there, farmed some and let more, 
agreed with most of my tenants, fought hard 

6 a saxon's remedy 

legal battles with others, travelled and explored 
all over the island, talked with every one — Pro- 
testant and Catholic ; Orangemen and Fenians. 
I have discussed educational matters with high 
Protestant and Catholic authorities. I was at 
the great meeting at Tara, when, as a loyal Eng- 
lishman, I could scarcely restrain myself, and I 
have sat as a guest with Irish friends when the 
abuse of Catholics was so rabid that I had to 
defend them. I have been told by one party 
that I should never possess influence with 
gentlemen in Ireland, because I was too much in 
favour of tenant-right, and I have been promised 
a speedy use for six feet of ground by a man 
who considered the right of trespass on his 
neighbour's land one of his privileges. 

When I have said this I hope it will be con- 
ceded by my fellow-countrymen that I have tried 
impartially to form a judgment on Ireland and 
its people, as well as on what are the reasons 
which make discontent and semi -rebellion 


Having done this, I will state what would, in 
my opinion, cure the evil. 

To Englishmen generally, as one of them- 
selves, I need hardly say that I have mixed 
myself up with every local improvement, and 
have been forward in strengthening the present 
Government against Fenianism, an insidious evil 
of the worst Yankee type, introduced into Ire- 
land from spite, fostered by intriguers for the 
purpose of raising money, and opposed alike to 
religion, morality, and progress. 

Now, as I write for the people, and not merely 
for travellers and learned men, who know r every- 
thing, come with me, good British public, and 
let us survey the whole of Ireland. 

The journey shall cost you far less than the 
usual somewhat exorbitant charge, and in a few 
minutes you shall know more of the aspect of 
the country than the author of " Ireland at a 
Glance," or "A Fortnight's Furlough in the 
Land of Various Faiths and Factions," ever in- 
stilled into you. 



J^OW, then, we have mounted the magic aerial 
car, and overtaking the "Wild Irishman" 
(as the mail train from London to Holyhead is 
called) hover over the speedy Leinster, which, 
with the Ulster, Munster, and Connaugld, forms 
a little fleet of as fine steamers as the world can 
produce. After admiring her graceful coquetting 
with the waves, seldom altogether tranquil in 
St. George's Channel, we glide onwards and 
behold the "Bay of Dublin" before us. As I 
am not an Irishman, and as I know the Bay of 
Naples well, and suspect some of you also have 
been there, I do not tell you the two bays 
present as great a resemblance as "Pompey and 
Csesar," but for all that it is a lovely sight you 
see. ; 


To the left hand are Kingstown, Dalkey, with 
its island, KilHney, Bray, and a host of lesser 
sea-side places inhabited by the wealthy mer- 
chants and tradesmen who transact business in 
Dublin ; there, too, on the rising ground beyond, 
are the mansions of lords and archbishops, 
bishops and judges ; above these tower the 
Dublin and Wicklow mountains, with the sugar- 
loaves in the foreground, all looking so green 
and fertile half way up, they suggest thoughts 
of rich butter-producing valleys to those of us 
who have dairies. To the right are the islands 
of Lambay and Ireland's Eye, and the Hill of 
Howth, and all along the coast to Malahide are 
more mansions and villas, and plenty of signs 
of wealth and prosperity. Before us is the city 
of Dublin, and as we pass docks full of ships, 
packets preparing to start to all parts of the 
world, and all the crowd and bustle of a great 
commercial capital, I observe some of my com- 
panions (men of the John WiHet class, into 
whom the insertion of a new idea is equal to 

10 a saxon's remedy 

the surgical operation mentioned by Sydney 
Smith) look doubtfully at me, and are evidently 
unable to comprehend that this is Ireland! 
Upon this I point to great droves of fat cattle 
and sheep, and troops of pigs, and remark that 
they are all going to feed us in England ; that 
the two former cost about 6^. per pound, and 
the latter 4^., and that, as a fifth of the first 
cost may be deducted for hide, fat, &c, it ought 
to pay the butchers very well if they retailed 
the best at l\d. per pound, and the inferior at 
b\d. As I say this, however, there is such a 
chorus of indignant exclamations from a number 
of stout, wealthy-looking men, that, remembering 
I ought to keep all my friends in good humour, 
I hastily change the subject, and proceed to 
describe Dublin. 

Yes, that fine building to the right is the 
Custom House, and this river, embanked on 
each side for so great a distance, is the Liffey ; 
these quays are a credit to any city, and this 
bridge, so narrow and insufficient for the great 


traffic which throngs it, is a disgrace — it is 
Carlisle Bridge, not named after the kind- 
hearted Lord-Lieutenant we lately lost, but after 
one of his ancestors. "Whose fault is it that 
there is not a better bridge ? "Well, it is hard 
to say. In a similar difficulty about a bridge in 
Kerry, Cromwell said he should hang half-a- 
dozen of the chief men in the county if there 
were not a good one in a month's time, and there 
was a satisfactory bridge within that period, and 
nobody was hung ! There were few men who 
solved difficulties more easily than the Protector. 
However, every one must own that the view 
from Carlisle Bridge is superb — all that a 
modern British city should be, with a touch of 
the old Italian — as you look up the quays and 
view the river, spanned by bridges of all kinds, 
as far as we can see, and further. 

High up that building to the right is the 
Four Courts, where, if we had time, you should 
hear Butt harangue, Armstrong cross-examine, 
and Sullivan argue, owning that eloquence and 

12 a s axon's remedy 

talent have not died out with Curran. Those 
streets which are connected by Carlisle Bridge 
are Sackville-street and Westmoreland-street, 
both wide and handsome, and containing fine 
buildings. In the former are the Nelson 
Column, and the space reserved for the statue 
of O'Connell. We go up Westmoreland-street 
into College Green, and look with interest at 
the Bank of Ireland, formerly the Irish Parlia- 
ment House; there the Union was brought 
about, and there patriotism had its price, and 
Irishmen rejoiced they had a country to sell: 
do not look at those miserable abortions some 
wicked people say are Moore and Gfoldsmith, 
and pity King William and his horse ! Why 
did not the Fenians blow up these insults to 
Ireland, as some of their progenitors did the 
latter work of art, instead of annihilating in- 
offensive women and children? Let us, how- 
ever, enter the College gates, and, looking at 
the Alma Mater of as much learning, wit, and 
eloquence as any university in the world, 


congratulate her, that still in the race of life 
her children have not degenerated. 

Now we must pass the objectionable equestrian 
statue, and go up Dame-street to the Castle. All 
the great English insurance companies have offices 
here, and it is worthy of remark that Dublin 
seems gradually getting burned down and re- 
built since they came over ; however, these un- 
dertakings thrive on fire, and after a particularly 
bad one you are sure to see several fresh com- 
panies. The representative of one of these was 
lately roused from his bed at four in the morn- 
ing by an excited gentleman, who insisted on his 
shop and stock being insured at once. " Come 
again at ten o'clock," said the agent. " Sure, by 
that time there will be nothing left to insure," 
cried the applicant ; " everything was in a blaze 
when I ran off ten minutes since. You must do 
it at once or lose the job." 

"We are now at the end of Dame-street, and 
going up Cork-hill ; this is Parliament-street to 
the right, and if you bear to the left and then 

14 a s axon's remedy 

to the right you get into Thomas-street. There 
is nothing remarkable in their appearance, but 
hereabouts more treason has been written and 
enacted than you are aware of. Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald was taken, after a desperate resistance, 
in a house in Thomas-street in 1798 ; there also 
a clever capture of armed Fenians was made about 
two years since. In a little street leading from 
Dame-street to the quays two poor policemen 
were shot quite recently, by a man carrying a 
bundle. It was a cold-blooded affair, and the 
perpetrator has not been discovered. The sup- 
pressed Fenian journal was published in Parlia- 
ment -street. But we must leave Cork-hill with 
only a glance at the Gruildhall of Dublin, and 
enter the Castle yard. 

Yes, that is Dublin Castle ! It is a polyglot 
kind of place, but it has splendid rooms inside, 
and often in the days of the kindly Carlisle and 
the high-bred Eglinton — both too soon lost to 
their country — I have seen them filled with all 
that is bravest and handsomest in Ireland, as 


well as a good assortment of Englishmen and 
foreigners. More recently, in Lord Kimberley's 
time, I remember a night when these halls were 
crowded, but when the streets we drove through 
were empty of every one save soldiers, for infor- 
mation had been received that a Fenian rising 
would take place ; and though most of the visi- 
tors were careless and unbelieving, I fancy that, 
but for the preparations made, there might have 
been some rash attempt at rebellion. 

Now the Marquis of Abercorn, whom all men 
of all parties combine to praise, keeps up the 
hospitalities of the Castle ; and in looking at 
the portraits of Ireland's Viceroys which adorn 
the long reception rooms, one can see no pre- 
sence more noble, no countenance more indicative 
of qualities likely to conciliate. With a hearty 
wish that in his time all discontent may cease, 
and Ireland and England become one nation in- 
deed, we will make our way through some streets 
where it will be well to shut eyes and noses, 
and which remind you strongly of old St. Giles's, 

16 a saxon's remedy 

and we arrive at St. Patrick's ancient cathedral, 
newly done up and beautified — a splendid build- 
ing, is it not ? and restored in good taste, all 
through Gruinness brewing the best porter in the 
world — whatever you Londoners may say — and 
to his being able and willing to spend one year's 
income (stated to be 100,000/.) thus worthily. 
We must enter for a minute and glance at the 
tombs of stout old Schomberg — who fell at the 
Boyne, and whose descendants grasped the fruits 
of his valour, and grudged the money for a suit- 
able monument — and of Dean Swift, that epi- 
tome of wit and sarcastic bitterness, who must 
nevertheless have had a good heart, since all the 
Irish tales one hears about him are favourable. 

When Prince Albert died it was proposed to 
clear away those vile, filthy streets leading from 
St. Patrick's to Stephen's-green, and form one 
broad avenue, in the Paris style, in honour and 
remembrance of him. Let us hope the execution 
of this excellent idea is only deferred. 

This grand square is indeed Stephen's-green, in 


every way worthy of the capital of an important 
country. Many of the houses round it are clubs, or 
public buildings of some kind. That is the Shel- 
burne Hotel ; this is the winter residence of the 
Archbishop of Dublin ; that archway leads to the 
world-renowned u Dycer's the large garden in 
the centre will soon be opened to the public : 
many of the best streets run out of Stephen's - 
green ; that at the left-hand corner is Grafton- 
street, where the ladies of Dublin delight to shop 
and block up the narrow way with their carriages; 
two of the S* Monster Houses " which are such a 
feature in Dublin, and in some of which you can 
buy everything except eatables, are situated in 
this street. Also leading out of the square is 
Dawson-street, full of hotels, and Kildare-street, 
where is erected, in modern splendour, the famous 
Kildare-street Club, and which also contains the 
buildings and grounds of the Royal Agricultural 
Society; of these things, and Merrion-square 
beyond, where lawyers and doctors congregate, 
an Irishman may be proud, as he may also of the 



a saxon's remedy 

great Exhibition building, though, where Ire- 
land's only Duke (Leinster) and her wealthiest 
M.P. (Guinness) are the leading directors, you 
may think the undertaking should have been made 
successful without proposing the realization of 
the loss to the Government. 

As for the theatres, they are not worth seeing 
outside, though some of the greatest names on 
the London stage, past and present, male and 
female, are Irish, and have commenced their re- 
putation in Dublin. The Rotundo, at the end of 
Sackville-street, is the place where concerts and 
all sorts of exhibitions are held. 

When the Trinity College athletic sports take 
place in the ample grounds of the College, you 
may see young fellows compete who have no 
superiors in strength and agility anywhere ; and 
amongst the spectators are plenty of forms and 
faces that would make the overrated " Misses 
Gunning " seem dowdy could they walk out of 
their frames and look their very best. 

Now, except some lesser squares, streets, and 


churches, you have had a fair view of Dublin, for 
I am not going to drag you to the cemeteries 
and zoological gardens, as, though well worth 
seeing, and affording a fine opportunity for 
moralizing ^over O'Connell's tomb, and the ex- 
tinction of Irish elks and Irish greyhounds, I 
must not make this a mere tourist's trip : I only 
wish to make you know the capital of Ireland, 
and afterwards the country, before we examine 
the people and their requirements. You see that 
Dublin is very like London on a smaller scale. 
There are fine public buildings, good private re- 
sidences, and shops not at all inferior to those of 
London. There is considerable trade, and money 
may be made there by care and economy, fore- 
thought and enterprize. There is a Court which 
it is undesirable to abolish, unless you replace it 
by something more real. It is nonsense to com- 
pare Scotland and Ireland ; and to legislate for 
the one as for the other is absurd. Besides, the 
Queen lives half the year in Scotland, and when 
any of our royal family comes to Ireland, the 

c 2 

20 a s axon's remedy 

first aim. has apparently been to go in public as 
little as possible, and their second, to get away 
as speedily as may be. When has any royal 
personage gone to Dublin Castle, and publicly 
and openly met his or her subjects as the Em- 
peror of Austria did the Hungarians ? And yet 
those gallant fellows who shouted " Welcome" 
had many of them relations to mourn, and 
wounds, chains, captivity, and losses endured by 
themselves to forgive ! Well, we shall see if one 
of our princes will try the experiment of being 

For the rest, though all praise must be 
given to Dublin for having avoided the rush 
into banks and companies which has made 
many of our most esteemed London names very 
much mixed up in what looks so like swindling, 
that they must have dreamed of the Old Bailey 
and Brixton, yet there have been a few little 
things got up and tumbled down not altogether 
unworthy of a London financier : in a general 
way, however, Irish swindlers go to England, 


and there some of them have distinguished them- 
selves in a style professional company winders-up 

When I have added that there is a Corpo- 
ration whose members are more distinguished 
for throwing dirt at each other than for 
cleaning it out of the streets ; that pure water is 
always being promised, litigated about, and taxed 
for, but does not arrive ; and that the public 
lamps look like farthing candles in a fog com- 
pared with the brilliancy of Paris gas, you will see 
that London and Dublin are " very much alike/' 

In Dublin, however, the lower orders do not 
often commit those savage assaults on each other, 
and on the police, that you read of in London. 
I think the police would hit again, and that the 
magistrates punish more severely. As you have 
read, perhaps, imprisonment in an Irish gaol is 
not all liberty and good living ; and people do 
not go in to put over an idle time. Nevertheless 
the appearance of a culprit charged with having 
gnawed the face of the prosecutor, and who 


proved that his own ear had first been bitten off 
by this aggrieved man, enabled a late police 
magistrate to say a good thing. " I dismiss the 
case/' said he. " You are a pair of dirty black- 
guards, and the only man fit to settle the matter 
is the King of the Cannibal Islands." 

Now we will make a rapid survey of the rest 
of the island. 



EEE I am assailed by a chorus of voices 

to describe Dublin without saying one word of 
the Phoenix Park. 

A restless little French gentleman, whom I 
have heard called " Louis/ 5 and who, I am told, 
was once a sixth part of a king himself, plainly 
intimates his belief that patriots are being shot 
there, and that I dare not show the Phoenix ; a 
tall thin lady, with a stiff back and a pair of 
spectacles, " guesses " the Park is just kept 
private against " Victoria " comes ; and a pale 
young man, with round eyes, and a half open 
mouth, looking able to swallow anything, de- 
clares there has been nothing sensational yet — 


wondering at my impudence in pretending 

24 a saxon's remedy 

nothing about duels, or murders, or anything 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am at your service. 
Let us descend from our aerial and invisible car, 
and take outside ones. You three leaders of the 
malcontents, come with me. Ladies are not sup- 
posed to ride on public outside cars in Dublin, 
but tourists are privileged. 

Powers of Brianconi, we are in luck ! Here 
are Tim O'Toole and his little bay mare. Look 
at Tim and the car and the mare, for in a few 
years they may be numbered with the things 
that were. 

Every one knows a car is a long, narrow box 
to hold luggage, with seats on each side and 
foot-boards hanging over two low wheels. There 
is a seat for the driver in front. As the legs of the 
passengers hang outside, only use can take away 
the belief in their imminent peril from other 
vehicles ; and the cars, especially old hired ones, 
swing about a good deal, so you must not sit 
stiffly, but swing with the car. Nevertheless you 


get off and on easily, and the car is a cheap and 
convenient vehicle for the country when you are 
used to it. The mare is a character, nearly 
thoroughbred, and under fifteen hands, long and 
low, better behind than before, with a lean neck 
and a blood head ; the way she turns her eyes, 
works her ears, and whisks her tail, proclaims 
that w r ork alone keeps her temper down, and, 
indeed, Tim got her after she had converted an 
Albert phaeton into a "box of chips" at Sandy- 
mount. She is well fed, though she looks 
rough, and notwithstanding her hocks show the 
marks of her exploits at Sandymount and else- 
where, she could do sixty miles in quicker time 
than many a two-hundred guinea purchase. Now, 
look at Tim : middle-sized, squarely built, with 
merry black eyes, and shaggy black hair streaked 
with grey, for Tim is nearly sixty; he has a 
general appearance of never being washed, nor 
"undressed, nor combed, nor shaved, but he has 
always been seen in the same old frieze coat, 
muddy trousers, and shocking bad hat, and I 

26 a s axon's remedy 

don t think the car was ever properly washed 
and cleaned since Tim got it — nevertheless, 
jump on. 

" Tim, my fine fellow, drive us to the Phoenix ; 
these are real quality, and wont pay you the 
dirty sixpence for a city boundary drive." 

" Eaix, yer honer, it's raal quality they look, 
especially her ladyship, Grod bless her, and I 
shan't have to hould a cloth before the mare's 
eyes when I take the fare, as I have to do 
when Father Flanagan rides from the Cattle- 
market to Harcourt-street Station, and bestows 
sixpence as the lawful fare. His riverence is 
thirty stone if he's an ounce, and the distance is 
three miles, and I tell him the mare would do 
him a mischief if she saw what we got for the long 

"Well done, Tim; the priest was a parson 
when you told the tale before ; but I have seen 
both religions represented in equally dirty 
degrees of remuneration to your fraternity, who 
could not live if you only got your legal fares." 


" Faix, yer honer, it's difficult to tell religions, 
as big bully Egan tould the Archbishop of 
Dublin, when he nearly drowned the poor little 
gintleman in the big swimming bath by flustering 
over him as he jumped in ; and advised him to 
have a mitre engraved on his shoulthers and a 
cross on his chest that the bathers might know 
and respect him." 

"Now, Tim, to be impartial, you should tell 
us a tale about Presbyterians/' 

" Well, yer honer, I never knew much of them, 
barrin' when I lived with one of the Batesons 
in the north. The masther was a bitther Pro- 
testant intirely, but a cousin of his, a Presby- 
terian minister, beat Banagher. One day there 
was a great Orange meeting, and lots of quality 
met and dined, and drank toasts, and made 
speeches, and had such like divarsions. After I 
drove the masther home, he tould me to go and 
see if his cousin, who was riding, was safe at his 
house. Well, as I was just turning up a lane 
which led there, I heard a kind of choking sound, 

28 a saxon's remedy 

and there, in a pond by the road-side, almost 
smothered in mud, was his riverence. Trouble 
enough I had to get him out, and to bring him 
to was another hard job, for he had swallowed 
lashin's of mud and duck- weed. At last, c Who 
are you that's saved me ?' says he. c I'm Tim 
O'Toole, yer riverence,' says I. ' "What's yer 
creed?' says he. ' I'm a Papist,' says I, c yer 
riverence. 7 'Put me back in the pond, then,' 
says he, ' for I wont be behoulden to you.' 
And sure he never rested till he made the 
masther put me out and hire a Protestant in- 

Well done, Tim, a true tale, I dare say, and 
told with not too much brogue, which, hailing 
as you do from county Wicklow, would not be 
natural ; but you must not whisk us round the 
corners so, for, had not my arm been pretty 
strong, this American lady would have come to 
grief. As it is the spectacles are gone, and we 
must stop and pick them up. What, my French 
friend, would you rather walk than pursue your 


route in this " sacre" vehicle, where your legs 
are menaced without ceasing? Courage, we are 
entering the Phoenix. Tim will be doubly care- 
ful of you as a Frenchman and a patriot, but say 
not a word about Garibaldi. Tim is a jewel of a 
driver, and except in returning from Punches- 
town races never upsets any one ; in fact even 
then I never heard of anything worse than a 
couple of attorneys having something unpleasant 
happen to them, and nobody reckons accidents 
to attorneys in Ireland. It is popularly sup- 
posed that there is some one, not exactly a 
cherub, watches over them in this life and re- 
moves their remains after the wake, leaving be- 
hind only a strong smell of sulphur. 

Now we are in the Phoenix, open, you see, to 
all, and suitable for all purposes — for reviews, 
races, cricket matches, for healthy exercise of all 
kinds, including flirting and fighting. 

There is the Royal Military Infirmary, which 
reminds me to mention that in hospitals, and in 
the doctors that attend their inmates, Dublin need 

30 a saxon's remedy 

fear no criticism ; that obelisk in front is, of course, 
the Wellington Testimonial. Waterloo is less 
avenged here than on Constitution Hill ! There 
are the Constabulary Barracks, and I may here 
remark, that the drill is the same as in the army. 
There is the Vice-Eegal Lodge ; summer recep- 
tions are there held in morning costume ; further 
on you see the house of the Chief Secretary. Lord 
Mayo has found something else to do than hunt 
since his tenure of office commenced, though 
a former Chief Secretary, who was accused of 
spending his time in that manner, declared that 
he never found any one to do business with at 
the office except an old woman ; and when he in- 
quired what happened when letters came, was 
told "there never were any." 

" Stephens and Co." have changed all that ; and 
Mr. Lendrick, who has replaced the " old woman" 
as Private Secretary, has need of all his native 
courtesy to satisfy his numerous correspondents, 
some of whom may perchance put a small packet 
of nitro-glycerine in their communications. 


Here we are at the Phoenix Pillar, erected by 
Lord Chesterfield when Lord-Lieutenant, and a 
good one he was, notwithstanding the " Letters;" 
it is close to the " Fifteen Acres," and here we 
will wander about a little, and wish that the 
hawthorn were in bloom in the dells yonder. Is 
it duels you want to hear about ? Why, if I 
begin on that theme you wont get out of the 
Phoenix under three volumes ! The whole place 
has an odour of carte and tierce, hair triggers, 
fighting Fitzgerald, Tiger Roche, and the Irish 
Bar. One nobleman and his sons, when a law- 
suit was going against them, called out all the 
opposing counsel. Here Barrington hit another 
legal gentleman in the region of the heart, who 
tumbled over apparently dead, but was found to 
be only " kilt" for the minute, the bullet having 
glanced from the brace-buckle ; whereupon he 
was comforted and assured that in a general way 
rogues were not saved by the " gallows" (Anglice, 
suspenders or braces). Some one else was saved 
owing to having purchased gingerbread nuts, 

32 a saxon's remedy 

which, with the " copper change/ 5 were in the 
long-waisted waistcoat pocket. 

These were the legal gentlemen who seem gene- 
rally to have been preserved by the agency of that 
friend who is supposed to welcome them warmly 
below when quite past mischief here. There is one 
instance recorded of a little attorney who was reluc- 
tantly forced to fight a terrible duellist by a distant 
relative zealous for the honour of the family, and 
who, though old and unpractised, took to the 
business and finished his opponent in the neatest 
professional manner. But the numbers of poor 
fellows whom a mistaken feeling of honour 
brought within the deadly aim of licensed mur- 
derers, who were avenging no insult and redress- 
ing no wrong, but only gratifying their thirst for 
notoriety, would fill many a gloomy page. Per- 
haps every other Irish duel yields in interest to 
the one between D'Esterre and O'Connell. 

The Liberator's tongue was so excessively glib 
when he found a sore place in the epidermis of 
his opponent, that, after the fatal result of this 


duel, he himself would speedily have been ' c eman- 
cipated 5 ' from this world of woe by some better 
shot than the luckless D'Esterre, had he not kept 
his oath never to " go out again." One cannot 
help thinking this resolve was rather fortunate 
for our present leader in the House of Commons, 
and that adroit master of fence, whose sarcasm 
used to drive Sir K. Peel as " wild" as Mr. Toole 
in the " Steeple Chase," must often feel small at 
reflecting how he suffered himself to forget all 
lessons of attack and parry when assailed by the 
coarse joke of being descended from the Jew who 
reviled our Saviour on the cross. 

Earl Derby, when Chief Secretary, is thought 
to have got rather the better of O'Connell, and I 
wonder he did not put the present premier up 
to telling the latter that he came direct from 
Thersites, or the beggar in the " Odyssey," to 
whom Ulysses gave such a drubbing. 

You want to know exactly where O'Connell 
stood, and where his opponent fell ; just in these 
very places, and you see the grass is still bent 

34 a saxon's remedy 

down and a trifle red where poor D'Esterre lay 

Now, Tim O'Toole, while the good people are 
gathering up the grass and breaking the haw- 
thorn bushes, let me say a word to you : what is 
it to you or me that some schoolboy has been 
lying there and spilling the juice out of his rasp- 
berry tart ? Don't I know the duel was fought 
near Mount Jerome; but tourists must have 
something tangible to look at and to take home 
to their friends. Those bits of grass and twigs 
are real relics to them, and they will induce plenty 
of other tourists to come and gather similar re- 
membrances. It's your unfortunate country I'm 
thinking of, you thief of the world; and inas- 
much as they show three places in Eome where 
St. Sebastian was martyred, so we will have two 
for D'Esterre, who was a kind of Protestant 

The grandest writer we have in London, Lord 
Lytton, himself says, when a Saxon likes to lie 
he can beat any Norman at it ; and though a 


carman can go pretty far in humbugging tourists, 
is it myself, who am a Saxon direct from King 
Alfred, like Mr. Stansfeld, who is to play second 
in anything to a fellow who does not know if he 
is a Celt or a Dane, and only boasts of coming 
from kings who ruled over a lot of Wicklow 
mountains ? What the mischief were those kings 
ever famous for, but for having a lame goose for St. 
Kevin to cure, and for letting " Black Tom" get 
their land owing to their having no title deeds to 
show ? Sure, the lawyers would have made them 
titles as easy as Judge Lynch would in his court. 

Are not Mr. Seward and Barnum Saxons en- 
tirely? and cannot they humbug equal to a 
Frenchman? It was Seward who humbugged 
and tall-talked the French out of Mexico ; and 
Bismarck, another chap you may call a Saxon, 
who kept them off the Ehine. It's no joke, I 
tell you, to put the double on Louis Napoleon, 
when he has the winning cards in his hand. 
Well, these men did it ; and if I like to practise 
humbug, and a trifle of deceit, and tall-talk 

d 2 


against I go to settle all disputed business with 
the big- wigs over yonder, it's not you who 
should call out, Tim O'Toole. Maybe I'll put in 
a word for you, as the real descendant of King 
O'Toole, when Mr. Bright gets the old property 
from Earl Fitzwilliam for judicious distribution ; 
so don't be like the bird your ancestor was so 
fond of, but be careful of the grass and branches 
the tourists are bringing ; and having now done 
the Phoenix, take us back by the quays, as we shall 
then see Kilmainham, and the Eoyal Barracks, 
and Christchurch, and look into the Four Courts, 
where the statues, particularly that of Sir 
Michael O'Loghlin, are worth notice. 



J^UCKILY we have a beautiful clear day, 
which, in imagination, we always have at 
command; so we, being nobly independent of 
the Dublin and Drogheda Eailway, as well as 
of that which goes by Navan and Kells, enjoy 
a splendid view of the coast and inland scenery 
as we wend our way through the counties Dublin 
and Meath. 

We see to the right Howth and Malahide, 
where in ancient Norman castles reside the Earl 
of Howth and Lord Talbot ; the first celebrated 
for the legend of " Grrana TJile," who, in Queen 
Elizabeth's time, carried away the heir of the 
house to the far west, on being told that she 

38 a saxon's remedy 

must wait till dinner was over before slie could 
have admittance. He was only released on con- 
dition that the doors of the Castle should be 
always kept open at meal times. 

'No end of money has been laid out on the 
Harbour of Howth, but it is of little use except 
for small craft, as since the rise of Kingstown 
the communication between England and Ireland 
is no longer carried on from Howth. 

Lord Talbot, as well as Lord Howth, deserves 
every credit for living on his estate, and doing 
his best to improve it. Many of us who have 
been in Eome remember how Monsignore Talbot, 
his brother, patronizes the " green," and in every 
way keeps up the credit of old Ireland. 

Then we come to Lusk, and see the first old 
round tower standing by the church in which 
Dean Swift is said to have preached, and turning 
our eyes right and left, we behold land which 
would take the shine out of Northamptonshire, 
where people give 14/. each for bullocks, and 
boast that an acre will fatten one, and where at 


one time of the year they catch ling and her- 
rings, and at another plant early potatoes for the 
Dublin market, followed up by a crop of man- 
gold transplanted into the potato drills. 

It is a rich and fertile country we pass 
through till we get to Drogheda, and remarkable 
for many things : for Cromwell's butchery when 
he invaded Ireland, and for Mr. TVTiitworth's 
endeavours to establish a cotton factory in the 
present day. 

Not far from Drogheda, where the Boyne 
winds its way to the sea, was fought the cele- 
brated battle before which James and the French 
retired, leaving the Irish cavalry on the one side, 
and King William and the Protestants, refugees 
from France included, on the other, to immorta- 
lize themselves : the Stuarts, though no cowards, 
always failed, like the latter Bourbons, at the 
critical moment. Charles I. would not head a 
last charge at Xaseby, James II. left the field 
of the Boyne, and Charles Edward at Culloden 
imitated his great-grandfather; as Louis XVI. 

40 a saxon's remedy 

left the Swiss at the Tuileries, Louis-Philippe 
and his sons disappeared in fiacres and " any 
how" in 1848, and the last King of Naples 
departed from his capital because Graribaldi and 
a few friends were approaching. 

I wish I could take you to Cavan for the sake 
of fishing Lough Sheelin ; but we must hold to 
the right and go by Dundalk, where you will see 
some tolerable attempts at trade and commerce, 
and proceed to Newry. 

This town is what even a Lancashire man 
would call a respectable place. Those who are 
romantic should go by Eostrevor, eat oysters at 
Carlingford, and journey round by the coast. 
There is scenery equal to any in Scotland ; but 
we, who are looking to the capabilities of the 
country, must keep a wary eye on Armagh to 
the left, and wish we were the Primate of all 
Ireland. We must then go through Lurgan 
and Lisburn, where I am told pocket handker- 
chiefs are the staple manufacture, and reaching 
Belfast feel as contented as Mr. Coningsby when 



he arrived at Manchester, for now indeed we 
are at Linenopolis! 

I don't know why people are always delighted 
when they get to Belfast : it seems to me a cross 
between England and Scotland. At the hotel 
they come and tell you prayers are commencing 
when you are enjoying your wine after dinner, 
and, finding you are English, appear greatly 
horrified when you remark, " It is not Sunday." 

Eemembering how they shot down the un- 
fortunate Catholics who were driven into the 
mud and could not fire again, and that a section 
of them insulted Lord Dufferin last year, one 
cannot think their profession of religion does 
them much good, but for all that, we are now in 
a thoroughly business-like, money-making place ; 
and, much as I hate want of charity and 
bigotry, if I had to pick a few thousand men to 
meet any number of Fenians, it is between here 
and Inniskillen I would recruit them : they 
would fight like devils as long as there was 
resistance, and bayonet every enemy after- 

42 a saxon's remedy 

wards as unsparingly as their ancestors did at 

If yon wander from Belfast towards Antrim, 
and fish, the rivers as far as Lough Neagh, the 
inland sea of Ireland, you will catch plenty of 
salmon and trout, and be continually popping 
upon bleach works with noble mansions near, 
showing the productiveness of the business and 
the good taste of the capitalist. 

"We are in the thick of the district where flax 
is grown ; thank your lucky stars that it is not 
autumn, when every little rivulet is surcharged 
with the effluvia of the rotten stalk of the flax, 
undergoing its necessary steeping preparatory to 
making your shirts, 

Now you are at Coleraine, close to the Giant's 
Causeway, Fair Head, Dunluce Castle, &c. 
There is Eattlin Island, where Eobert Bruce 
took refuge before he re-conquered Scotland, 
though I am sure I forget whether it was there 
he saw the spider make the six extraordinary 
unsuccessful jumps preparatory to the seventh 


fortunate essay which determined the fortunes of 
Mr. E. B. 

Here, however, there is no doubt the Scotch 
giant came over to try conclusions with Finn 
McCoul, who, perceiving from the Scotch gen- 
tleman's size, that he had no chance with him, 
rolled himself up in the blankets, and was re- 
presented by his faithful helpmate to be Finn 
McCoul's baby, and the Scotch giant concluding 
from rapid calculation that the father of so pro- 
mising an infant must be a leviathan indeed, 
beat a precipitate retreat, and died of fright 
shortly afterwards. 

"We must skirt Lough Foyle to Londonderry, 
the Cockney's Paradise in one sense, for several 
of the great London companies own property 
near here, and well would it be for Ireland if 
there were no worse landlords, for tenant-right, 
in its most extensive form, prevails. 

"We must look at the walls and the gates of 
Londonderry, and those who are Protestants 
amongst us stand an inch higher in our boots, 

44 a s axon's remedy 

remembering the prowess of Parson Walker and 
tlie bold "prentices" who, notwithstanding 
traitors within and enemies without, held the 
town through the open assaults of a large army 
and the insidious attacks of famine, thereby 
rendering the place immortal in the annals of 

Ah ! were we each of us only encumbered with 
twenty years of age and the same number of 
pounds in our pocket, what a splendid trip there 
would be through Donegal, with its grand head- 
lands and fjords only equalled in Norway, its 
mountain passes and its lovely valleys, its sure- 
footed ponies, and its wild inhabitants, different 
from all the other people of the North ; how- 
ever, we afe not tourists, but in search of the 
prosperous and substantial, and we must pass by 
Strabane and Omagh to Enniskillen. 

In that beautiful town, situated in the midst 
of lake communications, terminating with the 
well known watering-place of Bundoran, and the 
Bay of Donegal on the one hand, and with the 


railway leading direct to Dublin on the other, 
who does not wonder that the energy which 
made the Enniskilleners perform the heroic deeds 
chronicled by Macaulay, and which has carried 
them triumphantly through all the battle-fields 
of Europe and the East where England has 
taken a part, should nob also have made their 
town the centre of trade and commerce. 

Well, this is one of the mysteries of Ireland 
which we cogitate upon as we proceed to Sligo. 

Sligo, for its size, is a prosperous place, and 
all who sail on Lough Gill will own that travel- 
lers might do worse, even if they know Switzer- 
land, than make a pilgrimage here. 

As we follow the coast to Ballina, I think it a 
favourable opportunity to mention one source of 
wealth which Ireland possesses, and which is daily 
increasing in value. It is pretty generally known 
that salmon abound in all the Irish rivers ; I re- 
member when in this district it was about a penny 
a pound; now if you want to buy a fish you 
give two-thirds of the price it is worth in London. 

46 A saxon's remedy 

Lancashire men, who have bought different rivers, 
are making as much per annum as they gave for 
the privilege of fishing in perpetuity : even yet 
there is money to be made, as by a little outlay 
obstructions may be removed, and the fish enabled 
to run miles farther up the rivers ; but besides, 
turbot, soles, lobsters, &c, abound in the bays 
and among the islands off Mayo and Gralway. 

In these counties also are thousands of acres of 
bog and mountain, which energy and capital 
would soon convert into productive grazing land ; 
here too, on the higher grounds, there should be 
as good grouse shooting as in Scotland, and, 
indeed, I have known bags made not inferior to 
some of those obtained on second-class moors in 
that country. 

I well remember, one blazing day in August, 
lying on the sofa in the little hotel at Newport, 
too foot-sore, from long walks on the mountains, 
to go on a shooting excursion, and take advan- 
tage of a day's leave, obtained by the landlord 
for the guests staying at his hotel. I was solaced 


by the promise of plenty of game for tlie next 
day, which in truth was wanted, as, except fish 
and eggs, there was nothing eatable. It so fell 
out that only two bag-men, who I hope and trust 
were not English, accompanied the landlord's son 
and the keepers; what the latter got I never 
heard, probably two fourpenny-bits, but, with the 
exception of a bottle of lemonade each, the com- 
mercial "gents" did nothing for the good of the 
house, and the quantity of fur and feathers they 
put into their roomy old trap was something 
miraculous ! Pat, the waiter, hid away a brace 
of grouse and a hare for me, but they discovered 
the omission, and obtained restitution. I hoped 
and believed that the spirit of Grana Uile, whose 
sense of hospitality was so outraged by finding 
the doors of Howth Castle shut at meal-times, 
would have tumbled a piece of Croagh Patrick 
down upon them ; but as I never heard she did, 
I have strolled into no end of commercial-rooms 
since, in order to tell the tale and describe the 


a saxon's remedy 

From Killala to Westport is where the French 
were so successful in 1798. They marched about 
the country as if it were their own; and only 
surrendered when convinced of the utter useless- 
ness of their Irish allies. It is worthy of remark 
that in 1798, as in James II.'s time, the French 
and Irish had nothing in common ; and, in fact, 
the former treated the latter as savages, and were 
unable to appreciate their military qualities. 
When Humbert surrendered he made no stipu- 
lation for the safety of his allies, who were 
butchered without mercy by the yeomanry. 

The drive from Westport to Gralway, both by 
the coast and by the two celebrated lakes of 
Mask and Corrib, has been done by an infinity of 
tourists, and in this district a great number of 
English have bought property. The Law Life 
Insurance Company has got hold of the old 
Martin property of Ballynahinch ; the D'Arcy 
estate also has fallen into English hands. One 
cannot help feeling sorry that these old chiefs, 
with whom hospitality was a reality and not a 



name, should have ceased to be, having too, in 
some instances, met with rather hard treatment 
from their English creditors; but the country 
generally has been improved, and the miserable 
wages of sixpence a day, which prevailed when I 
first knew the district, have been more than 

They were roughish fellows, nevertheless, these 
old chieftains, and I should think were very like 
the ancient Danish jarls. They show you a 
place near Clifden where Dick Martin, and 
another great landed proprietor, accompanied by 
some scores of their followers, fought a pretty 
tough battle, not so very many years ago, about 
a few acres of mountain land. 

Old Dick was highly amused when the Lord- 
Lieutenant was his guest, and commended his 
claret, asking if it were true that there was a 
good deal of smuggling in Connemara? Dick 
assured him that no gentleman ever thought of 
paying duty, but always imported direct. 

There is one tale, however, I recommend to 



a saxon's remedy 

my fair country-women. One of the real old 
Mayo gentry, six feet four inches high., stout in 
proportion, rugged as one of his own mountain 
bulls, and proud as a Breton, had attained the 
age of forty, and was still unmarried. He was a 
constant visitor, however, at the house of three 
ladies, not overburdened with money or blood, 
but the youngest of whom was possessed of 
beauty and skill in retort. Every one said it 
would be a match, but years rolled away and the 
decisive words were not spoken, though other 
suitors were warned off by significant hints from 
the formidable but undecided Mr. Blake. 

One evening he called in returning from 
the fair of Castlebar, and he found the ladies 
were having a few friends and an impromptu 

There were some officers, lately arrived from 
India, whose regiment was at Castlebar, and a 
certain Captain Graham had Mr. Blake's lady, 
as she was generally styled, fast locked in that 
half-embrace the schottische permits. The Cap- 


tain was an adept at " Moulding up," which Irish 
and a good many other ladies consider a partner's 
bounden duty. Blake's idea of waltzing was as 
prejudiced as Byron's ; and he had an ugly scowl 
on his brow, that would have frightened many 
men, as the lady passed him with a slight nod ; 
however, the Captain only pressed his partner the 

" I am sure you will like the Captain for dear 
Mabel's sake, and we rely on you to make it 
pleasant for him while here/' said the eldest 
sister. Mr. Blake was standing with his back 
to the fire, and, drawing from his pocket a small 
branding iron used for putting initials on the 
homs of cattle by the purchaser, he gave the 
turf a quiet poke, and left the lettered end in the 
hot ashes. 

" Your honer's lost her," whispered Pat Casey, 
the old servant of the house, as he handed negus 
round; "the Captain's less tadious than your 
honer in love-making." 

" Well, Blake, you're done," said Mr. Browne. 
e 2 

52 a s axon's remedy 

"Waited too long, my boy; and the Captain 
there will carry off the finest girl in Mayo/' 

" By Gr , then, he shall find my mark on 

her !" cried Blake, and, as the waltzers passed, he 
drew the brand from the fire and clapped the 
red-hot letters on the shoulder of Miss Mabel- 
just above the low dress. Of course there was a 
deal of screaming and fuss ; but the lady re- 
covered sufficiently to become Mrs. Blake, and I 
hear never regretted the event which at last 
compelled her lover to speak his mind. A friend 
of mine told me some time since he had been 
staying with the Blakes, and he could aver that 
Mrs. Blake still wore high dresses on all 

Passing on, then, through this country of 
lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains, not desti- 
tute, however, of good grazing land, where plenty 
of black cattle and sheep are reared, we leave 
Cong, where ancient remains are occasionally 
found, telling of former greatness (when some of 
the inhabitants still traced their descent from 


the Phoenicians, and when the hill-sides were 
still covered with sturdy oaks), and we at length 
reach Gal way. Gal way, with its magnificent bay, 
once the seat of Spanish commerce, has lately 
had its prosperity nipped by the failure of the 
Galway and American Steam Packet Company. 
From the first there was strong opposition to it 
in influential quarters : the ships had terribly 
bad luck, and there was more than a suspicion 
that some of those parties who got up the Com- 
pany did not care how soon it came to grief after 
their purpose was answered. 

That is the worst of companies in the present 
day; even thoroughly good things, which pro- 
moters sell at a premium, they will endeavour 
to ruin and wind-up afterwards. 

Now, were we merely tourists we would go 
on to Ennis, Killarney and the south ; but as I 
purpose taking you on two distinct journeys, in 
order to let you understand what sort of a coun- 
try Ireland is in all respects, we will turn our 
back on Galway, after just looking at the Clad- 

54 a saxon's remedy 

dagh (where the fishermen still insist on an ab- 
surd monopoly), at the house where Lynch acted 
the part both of judge and executioner, and at 
the salmon, sporting in quantities near the 
bridge which spans the river running from 
Lough Corrib. 

Proceeding through a fine flat country, where 
many ruins at Athenry, and the substitution of 
new landlords in many of the finest mansions in 
the district (notably that of Lord Grough, the hero 
of many Indian battles, for that of Lord Grort at 
Lough Cooter), attest the changing hand of time, 
we arrive through a sheep-feeding district at 

Here we must pause to look at the Fair Green, 
where many of the best steeple-chasers, the safest 
hunters, and the finest cattle and sheep Ireland 
can produce, are annually brought together and 
competed for by buyers from all parts of 

Any thinking man who saw the week's fair at 
Ballinasloe, or even the accounts day by day in 


the Dublin newspapers, must see the vast im- 
portance, not only to the Irish producer, but to 
the English consumer, of a proper understanding 
between landlords and tenants. 

Meditating on this we reach Athlone. I have 
set myself a puzzle at Athlone — Why is it not a 
larger and more prosperous place than it is? 
Macaulay describes its position exactly, in his 
magnificent account of the passage of the river 
by William's general, Grinkel. St. Euth had to 
retire to Aughrim ; there, not trusting Sarsfield 
nor any of the Irish generals (who naturally 
chafed at being commanded by a Frenchman), 
his death, at a critical moment when no one 
knew his plans or where the different corps of 
his army were stationed, turned an undecided 
battle into a rout. Macaulay then notices how 
favourably Athlone is situated ; in the exact 
centre of Ireland, and on the magnificent river 
Shannon ! It now possesses another advantage 
in being the centre of an extensive railway sys- 
tem, and it ought to be the emporium of im- 

56 a saxon's remedy 

mense trade and manufactures. It is a dirty 
little town, chiefly noticeable for the fine lake 
into which the Shannon spreads immediately 
above the town, for some barracks, and for a 
quantity of turf boats constantly plying back- 
wards and forwards, together with a solitary 

Passing onwards to Mullingar, you cannot fail 
to be struck with the miserable appearance of 
the towns and villages ; indeed, between Galway 
and Dublin, within twenty miles on either hand, 
there is not one town of any importance what- 
ever, except as the centre of an agricultural 
population. The County Lunatic Asylum, the 
Infirmary, Jail, Court-house, and a handsome 
bridge or viaduct, built by either the county or 
the railway company, give an appearance of 
prosperity to some of the towns. Some of the 
shopkeepers I am aware make a good deal of 
money; but on the whole, it is a perplexing 
question, what becomes of the profits on the 
capital which the large farmers in Gralway, Eos- 


common, Westmeath, Meath, fee, must have 
made the last few years. 

About Mullingar, lake Belvidere and others 
give beauty to the landscape, which, generally 
speaking, is not interesting. In fact, on each 
side what you see stretching away there is the 
Bog of Allen. I will not enter into the vexed 
question as to whether it could all be drained. 
There are bogs and bogs ; some give very good 
grazing, and it must not be forgotten that turf 
is of great value as fuel in a country like Ireland, 
where all the coal has to be imported, and a bog 
is often an indispensable adjunct to property. 

Just about here, and in King's County, a 
great many agrarian outrages have been com- 
mitted, some of which have their origin in 
tenants being charged rent for bog they have 
reclaimed as an addition to their holding, or for 
their privileges of cutting turf being abolished. 
I was warned off from buying some property 
here myself, on account of there being unsettled 
questions of this nature with the tenants, and 

58 a saxon's remedy 

the agent and his clerk were shot at, and the 
latter badly hurt soon afterwards. When you 
see these things in the London papers, whose 
correspondents in Dublin declare no one can 
guess the reason of such outrages, it is of course 
quite possible there is only a trivial cause at 
work ; but equally probable is it that some man 
has reclaimed two or three acres of bog on a half- 
promise of being allowed to have it at a nominal 
rent, and then he has been got rid of on slight 
pretences, and the farm let at a considerably in- 
creased rental. 

Some people, like Louis Philippe, bear a 
charmed life, for there is one gentleman, who, as 
a jolly old baronet his neighbour informed me, 
has been shot at "in season and out of season," 
and the juries, he added, had twice convicted 
people for missing him. 

Now, however, we have cleared the bogs, and 
are going through the splendid lands of Meath 
and Kildare (where probably are grazing some 
future winners of the Liverpool Steeplechase) to 


Maynooth, destined, perchance, to rise higher in 
the scale of colleges ; for at present the Irish 
clergy who have been educated abroad take care 
to inform you of that fact, which, coupled with 
their anxiety to have an equal footing with the 
Protestants at Trinity, or a college at Stephen's 
Green, is a little significant. 

Then we pass pretty Leixlip, and the salmon- 
leap there, and now we are in the Phoenix Park 
and Dublin again, having journeyed through the 
prosperous northern part of the island, where the 
Scotch element greatly prevails, through part of 
the west, or Connaught — to which quarter the 
Cromwellians drove the ancient inhabitants as an 
alternative to the infernal regions, but which is 
neither unfruitful nor unprosperous — and through 
the great middle, grazing district of Ireland, 
familiar to many English as the part where 
several great fairs are held, and where numerous 
agrarian outrages and murders have taken place. 



cannot leave Dublin en route for Wicklow 
and the east coast without saying a few 
words about Mr. Dargan, whose name is asso- 
ciated with many of the great public works of 
Ireland, with the first Exhibition held there, and, 
above all, with the Wicklow and Wexford Bail- 
way, and with the conversion of Bray from a 
little bathing-place into a miniature Brighton. 
Of course since the wealth he was supposed to 
possess and he himself have disappeared, the 
world will be quite disposed to agree that his 
policy was in many instances short-sighted, that 
he sacrificed the traffic of the Wicklow and Wex- 
ford line for the advantage of Bray only, and 
that he was often careless of ultimate results if 


the whim or pique of the moment could be gra- 
tified : nevertheless, though neither a far-sighted 
man, nor capable of forming a certain plan and 
persistently acting up to it, his name should be 
always held in esteem by the many people whose 
fortunes he made, and by his countrymen gene- 
rally as a representative man of the nineteenth 
century, who w T as ever ready to give his time 
and money for public improvement, and who cer- 
tainly sold himself for neither lucre nor titles. 

Tou no sooner leave Dublin than, as we have 
already stated in describing the entrance into 
that city, you perceive that almost every one of 
wealth and fashion chooses that outlet for man- 
sions and villas ; in fact, select which route you 
will from Dublin to Bray — inland or by the 
coast — there is a succession of fine situations and 
magnificent sea and mountain views. A tale is 
told that one of the large proprietors agreed with 
the Dublin Corporation long ago for a lease of a 
large tract of land for 99 years; but getting these 
gentlemen and their legal adviser to dinner when 

62 a saxon's remedy 

the lease was to be signed, he cleverly altered the 
term to 999 years ! " Si non e vero, e ben trovato" 
and his descendant is a princely middle-man 

Bray is one of the few towns in Ireland where 
the lords of the soil think it worth their while 
to improve • but it must be owned they have 
followed Mr. Dargan's lead, and become aware 
that if they encourage building and accommoda- 
tion for visitors their property will be benefited 

To the right is Powerscourt, with its Dargle 
and waterfall, which, by the way, George IV. did 
not go to see, though the stream had been care- 
fully dammed up in order to be set free and pro- 
duce an effective cascade for his Majesty's delec- 
tation. Beyond is Bray Head, over which 
Brunei must have felt intense gratification in 
carrying the railway, as it was more difficult and 
dangerous and less likely to pay than making 
it run inland by the Glen of the Downs ; any 
one but a great engineer would have been clapt 


in Bedlam for originating such an idea. If you 
follow the line of railway lie made you will have 
magnificent sea-views and perceive villages, and 
gentlemen's houses nestling under the hills in- 
land, but you will only pass through one little 
watering-place (Greystones) till you arrive at 
Wicklow; yet the directors have never had 
courage to sacrifice the original outlay and re- 
construct the line through the thickly-populated 
and highly-farmed garden of Wicklow, which 
leads to the county town. However, I know 
directors in England who have sacrificed hun- 
dreds of thousands sooner than acknowledge they 
have made an absurd mistake. 

For Wicklow nature has done everything, the 
towns-people very little ; while the chief owners 
of property in the neighbourhood appear unable 
to see that their immense revenues might be 
further increased, as those of the landholders 
near Bray have been, by personal residence and 
encouragement to building, to say nothing of im- 
provement to a harbour which is often the only 

64 a saxon's kemedy 

chance of refuge for vessels between Cork and 

I dare say the history of many county towns 
in Ireland would disclose similar anomalies to 
that of Wicklow ; but, being nearer Dublin, the 
attention of the press has been lately brought to 
bear upon this place, and we find that one gen- 
tleman received twenty thousand pounds at the 
Union in consideration of giving up being here- 
ditary mayor ; that a noble lord has long held 
some score acres of the most valuable part of the 
Corporate property for about two shillings an 
acre ; and that what was built for a school has 
become an hotel, while the funds provided for 
education have been diverted from their original 
purpose for the last thirty years ! 

A mile or two from "Wicklow we come upon 
Eossana, immortalized in one way by Moore and 
in another by "William Howitt ; here too stands 
an oak where dozens of rebels, or suspected 
rebels, were hung in '98. Crossing the Vartry 
and the pretty village of Ashford, we reach the 



Devil's Grlen, by many considered the gem of 
Irish scenery. It is a deep cleft in the rocks, 
with overhanging woods, and a river brawling 
beneath. The best scene in " Arrah-na-Pogue," 
as originally acted, was laid here ; and in Ireland, 
Emery and Mrs. Boucicault brought down the 
house. In this glen, and the adjoining one of 
Dunran, numbers of wretched fugitives were 
burnt in 1798. Many a time I have talked with 
people, then little more than children, who 
remembered their fathers and mothers suffering 
this fate ; and one old sergeant is yet alive who 
took a leading part on the Royal side in many of 
the numerous fights when Wicklow and Wexford 
were in arms from Bray to Carnsore. For years 
these two counties have been the favourite 
locality for English and Scotch settlers, and are 
as peaceable as any in the United Kingdom. 

At the head of the Devil's Glen is the great 
reservoir of over four hundred acres, in which the 
waters of the Vartry are impounded for convey- 
ance to Dublin; and about which, owing to a 


want of timely settlement of claims for damage, 
and departure from the original plans, there have 
been, and probably will be, an infinitude of legal 
battles fought. However, the addition of a fine 
piece of water amidst the mountains will add 
much to the beauty of the scene ; and if steps 
are cut in the cascade in the Devil's Glen, so 
that the salmon and white trout can ascend, it 
will form a fine piscatorial preserve. 

Sugar Loaf and the Glen of the Downs are to 
our right, while Lough Dan is about two miles 
in our front. There, if the wind is right, we may 
have good fishing, and half an hour's brisk 
walking would take us to Luggela, the most 
romantically situated of all the Wicklow lakes ; 
but if we turn to the left and pass through 
Laragh, we soon reach the far-famed Vale of 
Glendalough, with its lakes, round tower, and 
seven churches. Thackeray made great fun of 
these same lakes and churches, but he is the only 
writer who has done so. His principal source of 
merriment was the smallness of the buildings ; 


and his intellect, great as it was, could not 
appreciate the interest which must attach to the 
foundation of the Christian religion in a far-off 
age and a barbarous country, where there were 
no means of emulating the glories of the Pagan 
temples in lands where Eoman wealth and civili- 
zation had penetrated. He, like most tourists, 
was partly amused, partly disgusted with the 
humbugging legends told by the guides, found 
the Bound Tower insignificant compared to the 
Pyramids, and drove away again. Had he 
climbed to the top of Lug-na-Quilla, and looked 
down into Grlenmalure, where the English sus- 
tained so terrible a defeat, or been caught by 
darkness and storm on the mountain roads above 
Kippure, he would have found that there are 
elements of grandeur and magnificence in Wick- 
low mountain scenery, as well as extensive and 
smiling prospects. 

Two things I beg you to notice in this district 
of lake and mountain : firstly, that much of the 
land has been reclaimed by men who have an in- 


68 a s axon's remedy 

terest in their holdings, who own scores of those 
little sheep which make Wicklow mutton cele- 
brated, and who in erect bearing, stalwart frames, 
industry, and attention to the main chance, con- 
trast favourably with tenants at will ; — secondly, 
that at Grlendalough y and right along by the 
Yale of Avoca to Arklow, lead, and copper, and 
sulphur ore are being got in large quantities. 
In fact, though gold discoveries first attracted 
attention to the mineral wealth of this district, 
search for it is almost discontinued, while for- 
tunes are being made in the other products ; and 
there are vast quantities of iron, which increased 
facilities of transit to England would render well 
worth getting. 

I was desperately disappointed when I first 
saw the Vale of Avoca, and the cottage where 
Tom Moore lived ; but still it is a lovely ride 
on a sunshiny day through the valley to Arklow, 
with Castle Howard, Shelton Abbey, and other 
gentlemen's seats scattered about. Perhaps the 
cutting down of trees, the quarrying of sulphur 


ore, and now the railway, have destroyed some of 
the poetical beauties of the landscape, however 
much they may have added to the material pros- 
perity of the county. By the way, Sterne (who, 
if I recollect right, was born near Grlendalough, 
and nearly drowned there, and who used so 
largely the old campaigning tales he heard from 
the garrison at Wicklow,) appears to have cared 
very little for scenery. 

At Arklow, which stands at the end of the 
Vale of Avoca, was fought a battle equal to that 
of New Eoss in 1798. As at New Eoss, the rebels 
were, in fact, victorious ; but not knowing how 
to pursue their advantage, the superior discipline 
of their opponents recovered the day. 

Now if we were only amusing ourselves, we 
should have completed our trip through the 
beauties of Wicklow, and might retrace our steps 
by the pretty coast road, here and there having 
pointed out to us the scenes of terrible ship- 
wrecks, for there is hardly an inlet or bank on 
this Wicklow shore where some vessel has not 

70 a saxon's remedy 

been lost, and in some instances hundreds of 
lives have been sacrificed — often by careless 
management, no doubt : but the seamen will tell 
you it is from the want of a harbour of refuge ; 
and they instance the Channel Islands as a proof 
of what the English Government will do for 
other portions of its dominions, and say that a 
tithe of the money spent on Wicklow harbour 
would have saved incalculable property and 
human lives. 

However, before us are Grorey and Newtown- 
barry, and to the right the extensive property 
wrested by Strafford from the Byrnes and 
O'Tooles, and now enjoyed by Strafford's 
descendant, Earl Fitzwilliam. A good many of 
the Byrnes fought hard in '98, and on one or 
two occasions were victorious — once in particular, 
near the celebrated wood of Shillelagh — but now 
they are county magistrates and snug farmers ; 
and all through the fine agricultural district 
right and left to Enniscorthy, New Boss, and 
Wexford, the country is peculiarly well farmed 


and prosperous. At these latter towns terrible 
atrocities were committed by the rebels ; and 
we must pause for a moment at Vinegar Hill, 
above Enniscorthy, where they sustained their 
last crushing defeat. The old town of Wexford, 
memorable for early encounters of Strongbow 
with the Irish, is left behind in the present day, 
owing to the harbour filling up, and being 
cornered as it were by all the railways, as the 
large rivers hereabouts constitute many engineer- 
ing difficulties. However, this is to be remedied ; 
and in Waterford, where Henry II. landed, we 
see a really fine town making some use of its 
great advantages. 

Clonmel is another good town, and w T e are 
favourably struck with the greater evidences of 
trade and commerce between this and the mid- 
land district. There is, too, some splendid 
pasture land ; but somehow the ground is not 
as well tilled as that through which we have 
lately passed, and there appears to be more 

72 a s axon's remedy 

Proceeding by Dungarvan, we reach beautiful 
Lismore, where is situated the Duke of Devon- 
shire's Irish property, and we revel in the rich 
district of the Blackwater. We think of Sir 
Walter Ealeigh as we pass by Youghal; and 
now we are at the far-famed city of Cork. 

Who that has been at Cork can expect a 
description in a few lines ? One can simply say 
that its situation is so excellent for trade and 
manufactures, the climate is so salubrious, and 
the district around so rich, that one can but 
wonder the fair city has not even greater pros- 
perity than she enjoys. However, in despite of 
the Fenians having given some trouble, a great 
future must be in store for Cork. 

Well, we must tear ourselves away, and here 
we are in a difficulty. To see the country from 
a commercial point of view, we should take the 
railway direct to Limerick, by Mallow and Kil- 
malloch, where the Fenians committed a wanton 
outrage, and the police behaved with great 
courage ; but as one of the things Ireland wants 


is that English and foreigners should examine her 
for themselves, I will take yon by the romantic 
Pass of Keiineneagh, by Inchigeela to Bantry. 
In the bay here the French, under Hoche, were 
to have landed ; and there is no doubt that the 
storm which prevented a descent on the coast 
was one of those pieces of good fortune which 
secured the British dominions from every revo- 
lutionary reprisal, in return for our attacks upon 
France. There is much that is interesting about 
Bantry, but we will make our way to Grlengariff, 
a few miles further on, which is generally the 
head quarters and the night's rest for the coaches 
between Cork and Killarney. 

Lever has done well to imagine his hero, 
Davenport Dunn, founding a great building 
speculation at Grlengariff, for there is no more 
lovely place. One cannot help being annoyed 
that he will make his heroine undertake an 
equestrian trip where she has to jump walls 
placed across paths ; over cliffs, where the least 
mistake of her horse will consign her to destruc- 

74 a s axon's remedy 

tion ; and all for no purpose, inasmuch, as the 
roads are triumphs of engineering skill. 

When I first traversed them five and twenty 
years ago, in the mail-car from Killarney, as soon 
as I saw Grlengariff I was determined to stop 
there ; the driver was equally determined I should 
go on to Bantry, where his master kept the 
hotel. I went off to Lord Bantry's, saw the fine 
old nobleman, who had so narrow an escape from 
the "Whiteboys, and who had always luncheon on 
the table for two or three hours ; was conducted 
to an infinity of beautiful points of view, and 
on coming to the high road three hours after, 
found the mail still waiting for me! What 
could I do but go on ? We met the postmaster 
and many of the inhabitants several miles out 
of the town, coming to see what had happened 
to the mail-car; but the fact of an English 
traveller being triumphantly rescued from Grlen- 
gariff allurements furnished the driver with a 
satisfactory excuse. At the present day, I am 
happy to say, you may chance to meet pleasant 


tourists of all nations at the picturesquely-situated 
hotel at Grlengariff; in fact, there were more 
guests than eatables when I was there last ; upon 
which some of us, annoyed at getting no fish, 
though the rivers and sea were teeming there- 
with, set out to remedy the deficiency in the even- 
ing, and brought home forty pounds' weight. 
Next day at dinner again no fish ! An indig- 
nant request was made to know what had be- 
come of all we had brought home, and a cool ex- 
planation from the waiter (who might have been 
the father of the boy at Mugby J unction) was 
given, that the cat had got them. 

But the sun is up, and we mount our car to 
make that wonderful journey to Killarney, which 
even those who know the whole of Europe will 
always look back upon with pleasure. We go 
winding up and up, drinking in a wealth of sea 
and lake, river, headland, frowning mountain and 
green valley, such as can only be seen on this 
south-western coast. "We are glad to perceive 
comfortable farmhouses, sturdy agriculturists, 

76 a saxon's remedy 

and healthy girls, who have been instructed in 
lace-making, and are more persistent in doing 
business than any male commercials, for the Mar- 
quis of Lansdowne owns miles upon miles of 
the country, and is a good landlord ; indeed he 
ought to be, for his ancestor, Mr. Petty, got the 
whole district for the trouble of surveying it ; 
and they tell you that many of the tenants in 
the olden time used to go down to Cork to work 
or beg for the money to pay the rent, and were 
searched by the agents to the property at a cer- 
tain archway in the road entering the county 
Kerry. It was decidedly pleasant being a sur- 
veyor in those days ; but fancy being an agent 
or a tenant ! But here comes a fresh instalment 
of female bagmen {bulls are allowed here), and, if 
we are in luck, we shall have a capital lunch at 
Kenmare. After that the best thing to do is to 
leave the car and follow the course of the Ken- 
mare river to Sneam. Why on earth the Pettys, 
good people, almost great men (at least the late 
Marquis was), have not managed to utilize that 


noble river I cannot imagine; however, the best 
and largest proprietors in Ireland seem to think 
they do quite enough if they let the land on reason- 
able terms, subscribe to a school, come over occa- 
sionally, and tell the people to be self-reliant. 
There is plenty of land too about here which 
would well repay draining and cultivation. "When 
I was very young a great landed proprietor had 
the good sense to take a fancy to me, and offered 
me ten thousand acres for ever at a penny an 
acre. I wish my friends would have let me go ; 
for I know some gentlemen who took large tracts 
at about double this price, and have had as in- 
teresting and profitable an occupation as in 
Australia — here, two days' journey from London ! 

Beyond Sneam is Derrynane Abbey, indissolu- 
bly connected with O'Connell ; here he enjoyed 
himself in country sports, and gave a rough and 
hearty welcome to all comers. What a wonder- 
ful man he was ! in influence king of three parts 
of Ireland, and wielding a united phalanx in the 
House of Commons which no ministry could 

78 a saxon's remedy 

despise, to him unquestionably Ireland owes 
much ; but if he had avoided the Eepeal agita- 
tion, and gone in for a settlement of the land 
and Church questions, we should never have 
heard of Fenianism. 

I dare not stop at Waterville, where Mr. 
Hartop has built a good hotel, for on that lake, 
so close to the sea it is a wonder they do not join 
when the floods from the hills are out, one of the 
boatmen three times missed gaffing the biggest 
fish I ever hooked, which finally bounded full 
ten feet in the air and smashed my tackle. In 
my imagination the fish has got bigger every 
year since ; I kept it down to forty pounds for 
some time, but now he is about a hundred, and 
if I were to meet that boatman I believe I should 
do him a mischief. 

The day after my misadventure with the fish 
was Sunday, and after lunch I announced my 
immediate departure. There were no other 
guests in the hotel at that time, and the waiter 
looked annoyed. 


"What's the matter ?" said I. 

" Well, yer honner," said he, " there's an 
arrangement with the clergyman miles away that 
he should come and preach if there are any Pro- 
testants here ; — thinking you were stopping, we 
did not send word, and in two hours at furthest 
he will be here." 

Fancy having a clergyman all to one's self ! 
However, I did not stop, but heard afterwards 
that a family in the neighbourhood came on the 
chance ; so there was a congregation after all. 

Two years ago, in Switzerland, about seven 
o'clock in the morning of Sunday, I was woke 
up to know if I would like to take the sacrament. 
Four old ladies had found out there was a clergy- 
man in the hotel, and attacked him on the sub- 
ject : he was considerably annoyed, but promised 
to administer it at eight if six communicants 
could be found. The poor man had come abroad 
under strict injunctions to abstain from duty 
owing to ill health, and the affair was arranged 
by his reading prayers for us at ten. 

80 a s axon's remedy 

Valentia, however, we must see, for it is 
familiar to all from tlie hundred descriptions 
written of it by the " special correspondents" of 
the London papers who accompanied the expedi- 
tion for laying the Atlantic Telegraph. Besides 
this wonderful triumph of science, which so 
many prophesied would never succeed, Valentia 
is celebrated for its slate quarries, and for its 
possessing the most beautiful little Kerry cows 
in the world. Many of my citizen friends with 
but an acre or two of land would find the Kerry 
cow better than the Alderney; they are much 
hardier, eat far less, breed with greater certainty, 
and fatten more readily ; and though the milk is 
somewhat less rich, it is very good and abundant. 

Cahirciveen is a specimen of a dirty little 
town ; but O'Connell was born there. 

The coast road to Killarney by the shores of 
Dingle Bay, passing Bosbeigh, is as romantic 
as can be conceived. Woe to the vessel that 
gets into this bay in a storm ! she is almost cer- 
tain to be lost among the treacherous sand-banks. 


The inhabitants hereabouts are hard-working, 
quiet people enough; but we are proceeding 
along the road where the first Fenian outbreak 
took place, and over these misty hills, seldom 
traversed save by the fisherman or shepherd, the 
poor deceived wretches tramped wearily from the 
pursuing soldiers. 

Agriculture can do but little on hills bathed 
with perpetual mists from the Atlantic, and 
sheep would succeed better if more surface-drains 
were cut ; but the little Kerry cattle appear to 

And now we reach Killarney. Killarney ! 
where princes and newspaper writers, politicians 
and foreigners, come and stay a week, and think 
they know all about Ireland ! Why, every man, 
woman, child, and pony conforms himself, her- 
self, and themselves so exactly to the English 
taste, that except for the scenery and the brogue 
you might as well be at Buxton. I don't like 
the big hotels, and the crushing, and the being 
besieged continually to go to this place and that 


82 a saxon's remedy 

place ; I don't like, the moment I stir from the 
hotel door, being persecuted by guides and pony- 
proprietors ; and when I have engaged these gen- 
tlemen, I don't like being attacked by horn- 
blowers and pistol-firers, and men who open 
gates and who expect to be exorbitantly paid for 
the most trivial service enforced upon you ! I 
detest these people and the milk and whisky- 
sellers almost as much as the tribes of beggars 
who ask for money without any shame. It is 
utterly impossible to satisfy these harpies, and 
the nuisance, which hardly exists in any other 
part of Ireland, should be put a stop to. Never- 
theless, we will brave the annoyances and enjoy 
the lions as we may — we will go through the 
Grap of Dunloe, wild and savage, hear all the 
legends of St. Patrick and the last "sarpint," 
and Kate Kearney, and the lady who has a 
thousand goats, and enter the Upper Lake — 
most beautiful of all — traverse the romantic pas- 
sage to Tore Lake, let the boatmen talk their fill 
of the O'Donoghue, hear the echo under the 


Eagle's Nest, and the bugle — well worth listen- 
ing to if Spillane plays — land at Dinas, have 
salmon cooked on arbutus twigs, give everybody 
" lashins" of whisky, and enjoy all the exquisite 
views of mountain and waterfall as we glide 
quietly home (after calling at " sweet Innis- 
fallen") to the excellent accommodation at the 
Victoria. Let us see the large yew at Muckross, 
and the remains of the old abbey, and Eoss 
Island and its castle; and let us beard the 
beggars on their hill and ascend Mangerton. 
Gurran-tual is higher, but the ascent is more 
difficult. Any one can ride up Mangerton ; and 
if a young woman with one arm, who sits about 
half-way up, and is such a good hand at bad 
wishes that I have known her rile even easy- 
tempered persons of her own sex, were put in 
the Devil's Punch-bowl as a warning to the men- 
dicants generally, the ascent would be pleasant 
enough. At the top, if the day is fine and clear, 
the prospect is grand and beautiful, the numerous 
bays and inlets in the coast being seen with 

g 2 

84 a saxon's remedy 

great distinctness. Bound the cold gloomy lake 
at the top, called the Devil's Punch-bowl, Charles 
James Fox once swam ; and lower down, through 
the wild land and woods, there are a good many- 
deer. Except on some of the Wicklow hills, I 
know of no other place in Ireland where they are 
to be found, except in parks. 

Eeturning we visit Tore Waterfall ; grand in- 
deed after heavy rain, and where in days gone 
by I have gathered the celebrated Killarney 
fern. My first visit to Killarney ! Now, like a 
romance, it rises before me ! except the " Vic- 
toria/ 5 the only hotel one could stay at was a 
comfortable little hostelry at Muckross, kept by a 
Mr. Eoche, who had lately had a narrow escape 
in the passage from the upper lake, when there 
really was danger in shooting the rapid after a 
heavy rain. Somehow the boat was upset ; a 
young married couple, Eoche, who was steering, 
and a boatman were saved, but three boatmen 
were drowned. News came to Muckross that 
all were lost : singularly enough, the wife of the 


boatman who was saved died of the shock. The 
families of those who were drowned bore their 
loss more philosophically, and some of them 
used to sell arbutus souvenirs of Killarney, and 
it was the correct thing to have the surviving 
boatman one of your crew. He took me down 
this same rapid after a heavy rain, and I can 
assure you the excitement was not lessened by 
remembering his sad adventure. We were a 
merry party that day ; there were three or four 
gentlemen farmers, perfect giants in size, and 
very good-natured and full of information and 
amusing tales ; there was a priest of the real old 
type, a gentleman, and possessed of some pro- 
perty apart from his clerical office, and a Govern- 
ment employe, since become one of our most 
successful novelists. I have never seen any of 
them since, but for nearly a week we were con- 
stantly together. Old Spillane, one of the best 
buglers who ever played, and quite one of 
Nature's gentlemen, had been particularly re- 
commended to me by a friend who had lately 

86 . a saxon's remedy 

cured him of a dangerous illness, and many a 
wild tale lie told us; among others, that of the 
true history of the "Colleen Bawn," who was 
brutally murdered by her paramour near Tarbert : 
he said he saw young Squire Scanlan hung at 
Limerick. I laughingly turned to the priest and 
said, " Why, that is the same name as yours," 
for he had given me his card. " It is, indeed," 
he said, " for he was my own cousin, and I shook 
hands with him at the gallows/' 

I was desperately uncomfortable, and made all 
sorts of apologies, but the embryo novelist, whom 
I will call Austin, comforted me with the assur- 
ance that it was quite common for Irish gentle- 
men to talk of their fathers and uncles having 
"suffered in '98." Mr. Scanlan subsequently 
informed me that in a lengthy experience he 
never saw such utter callousness and heartless- 
ness as that displayed by his relative ; there was 
really no motive for the girl's murder except 
that she would not give into his own keeping a 
few pounds she had brought with her when fly- 


ing with him ; and no one could regret that, in 
spite of the exertions of his family, who were 
influential, the law was allowed to take its course. 
The last night of our stay we were all having 
punch together when two strangers came in, and 
to our great annoyance forced their society upon 
us. One of them, who the Priest whispered me 
was the son of a reputed informer forty years 
before, and who had become a Protestant and 
amassed a good deal of money, soon made him- 
self disagreeable; and, perceiving that Austin 
and I were Englishmen, talked most grossly 
about Papists and Priests. Austin very properly 
remarked on the bad taste of such language in a 
public room. Who began first I never knew, 
but chairs were upset and blows were struck — 
the stranger's friend seized Austin by the collar 
— I, of course, pulled him off — some of us upset 
the table accidentally and knocked out the lights. 
Mr. Scanlan and the farmers did not know who 
to get hold of. In the midst of the confusion 
Jerry, the waiter, and the Boots came in, and 


a saxon's remedy 

crying out that the young English gentleman 
was being murdered, charged down upon the 
peace-makers, pushed them right and left, and 
clutching me anyhow dragged me out of the 
melee. I hurriedly explained ; and lights being 
brought in, we thought at first there was no 
damage save to Austin's spectacles, but upon 
further examination the author of the mischief 
was discovered in a most pitiable plight ; and I 
do not think any hero of a lady novelist, much 
less one of Austin's, who are generally very quiet- 
going gentlemen, could have done a bit of face- 
painting more cleverly than the future author. 
Every one rejoiced the right man had got beaten, 
but before we parted Austin said, " Now, I have 
to go away early to-morrow. That fellow is 
sure to say I have run away on his account ; 
therefore, as soon as you find he is up tell him 
who I am, and that I am ready to give him any 
satisfaction — if he will fight, I must." 

Duels in those days were still occasionally 
fought in Ireland, and I gave the disturber of 


our enjoyment the night before every chance of 
getting his brains blown out in addition to his 
two black eyes, if he so minded ; in fact, taking 
the precaution of placing the entire household 
on the stairs as witnesses that our side meant 
fighting, I fear I was as little of a peace-maker 
as Sir Lucius O'T rigger, but the cur had no 
fight in him ; and I beg to assure Mr. Austin, if 
he chances to see this, that everybody agreed 
he acted like a " ra'al gintleman" in the trans- 

About six years since I was standing on the 
little bridge at Killarney, on a lovely evening, at 
the very time a most brutal murder was being 
committed some fifty or sixty yards off. A man 
and girl were seen walking towards the railway 
just as the bell was ringing for the excursion 
train to start : I heard the bell at the time, and 
the body of the girl was found, the rope with 
which she was strangled round her neck, in a 
wood-yard close to the bridge. Had she been able 
to give one scream, I, and no doubt others, must 

90 a saxon's remedy 

have heard it, yet the villain risked all for the 
cloak and other clothes she wore at the time, and 
which were of some little value : probably he 
left the town by train, and the police getting at 
first on the wrong track, unfortunately never dis- 
covered him. 

Such are a few of my recollections of Killarney. 

Now we will proceed to Tralee, which is rather 
a stirring little business town, and is no doubt 
benefited by the railway, for a good many bathers 
go to the villas on the shore of the bay ; then, 
through the pretty town of Listowel to Bally- 
bunnion. Here are the world-famed caves, to 
which you proceed in most unsafe-looking boats 
made of canvas, but which ride out the rough 
weather generally met with on this coast. No- 
thing is grander than to see and hear the ocean in 
its fury dashing through the narrow but deep 
fissures in the rocks, and I fear I must draw 
your attention chiefly to the wonderful beauties 
of the coast scenery, for agriculture is not in a 
satisfactory state. You see the people, in many 


of these Western parts, planting their potatoes 
in wet land, and leaving their hay in great cocks 
to rot upon the ground. Of course you will be 
told that you don't understand the climate, or 
that the landlords are exacting and wont give 
leases, or that the tenants are poor, lazy, and 
fond of subdividing their land : probably there 
is some truth in all this, but energetic resident 
proprietors, who would show the people practical, 
not fancy farming, and who would encourage 
farmers with some capital, would surely effect an 
alteration for the better. 

Instead of pursuing these reflections, we will 
proceed to Tarbert, go on board the steamer and 
pass down the Shannon (here an arm of the sea 
traversed by vessels from every clime) to Kilrush. 
I must show you Kilkee, the most romantic 
watering-place on this coast. Directly you quit 
this little town you come upon piles of rocks, 
many hundred feet high, jutting into the Atlantic. 
Unfortunate indeed is the storm-driven vessel that 
approaches Kilkee ! Melancholy was the fate of 

92 a saxon's remedy 

the Intrinsic, for example. She was steered safely, 
and almost by a miracle, into a huge gap in the 
cliffs, where she was in deep water ; the people 
on board could have been saved had the rocket 
apparatus been used ; it was at hand, but through 
some stupidity, was ineffective, and the unfortu- 
nate vessel, after being long buffeted by the 
waves, at length went to pieces, and every soul in 
her perished, though hundreds were immediately 
above them. The inlet is still called Intrinsic Bay. 

On a shelving rock near is the Puffing Hole ; 
the sea, in stormy weather, dashes under the 
rock, and is ejected with great force from the 
hole. A few years ago, a gallant officer and the 
lady to whom he was engaged were looking at 
this phenomenon, when one of those tremendous 
waves which occasionally on this coast rise be- 
yond all calculation, dashed unexpectedly up 
the rock, and carried them back in the reflux : 
thus hurrying them into eternity under the eyes 
of the rest of their party, who stood a few yards 
in their rear watching them. 


The whole of the coast of Clare is unsurpassed 
in wild magnificence, and on many of the pro- 
montories you marvel to see the remains of small 
castles. Most inconvenient places they must have 
been for any one to live in or get to, but pro- 
bably the latter was the chief recommendation 
to the people who built them ; and the number 
of these strongholds, which only occasionally 
rise to the dignity of baronial castles, shows in 
what a state of anarchy and constant petty war- 
fare Ireland must have been when every little 
proprietor had his fortified place. 

The drive from Kilkee by Miltown-Malbay to 
Lahinch is through a poor country, but Lahinch 
is well situated on Liscanor Bay, and the Hag's 
Head and the Cliffs of Moher are greater attrac- 
tion than any possessed by Miltown-Malbay it- 
self. On all this coast mind where you bathe ; 
the sands are exceedingly shifty and treacherous. 
Young swimmers think they see the sand beneath 
them, and feel no alarm, but the moment their 
feet touch it, it proves to be unsubstantial ; then, 

94 a saxon's remedy 

if they lose their presence of mind or are ex- 
hausted, it is all over with them. I have known 
one or two remarkably good swimmers lose their 
lives in this manner. Take advice, therefore, as 
to where you bathe. 

A walk round the Hag's Head and the other 
cliffs is most enjoyable, whether the ocean is 
booming in its anger a thousand feet sheer down 
below you, or lying at peace gently rippling 
against the sides of the precipitous rocks. If the 
latter, you may have a wonderful view sea- 
ward of all the indented bays towards Kilkee, 
and of the Isles of Arran at the mouth of Gralway 
Bay; landward by Burran, birthplace of oysters 
hardly inferior to " natives," to Lisdoon- Varna, 
celebrated for its mineral springs. 

One bumper we will quaff in memory of Mr. 
O'Brien (King Corny as he was called), for 
having made these cliffs accessible to every one, 
with a protecting wall at their very edge ; yet 
another to the present possessor, who does not 
allow you to be obtruded upon by shilling 


hunters and beggars, and then we will start for 
Ennis. It is a pleasant drive, and you look with 
satisfaction at the*flocks of immense sheep which 
are grazing here and there. "Wonderful is lime- 
stone land for increasing the size of animals ; and 
they tell you, in this county, how strangers 
marvel to see sheep fattening on the grass they 
pick between rocks and boulders. 

Ennis is a better county-town than many in 
Ireland, and has near it the celebrated ruins of 
Quin Abbey: I know of none better worth 

Pursuing our way to Limerick, we see plenty 
of fine pasture land, and at last reach the city of 
the "Violated Treaty/' 

"We have the privilege, not often vouchsafed 
to those who sojourn in the West, of seeing 
Limerick on a beautiful day. You cannot have 
the great Atlantic near you, as well as a broad 
river like the Shannon, without constant mists 
and rain ; and that which encourages the growth 
of arbutus and other evergreens, and makes the 

96 a s axon's remedy 

meadows give extraordinary crops of hay, fatten 
cattle, and put flesh on the young horses sold at 
Hartegan's Kepository, also fcauses disappoint- 
ment to the tourist, who may find Limerick 
looking wet and sodden. However, you see it 
now gay and bustling. There is a capital hotel, 
good shops, and considerable trade of various 
kinds ; a large army clothing establishment, 
distilleries, &c. Limerick lace is celebrated, and 
the residences of the merchants are handsome 
and in good taste. 

If we had time we might trace some evidences 
of the celebrated siege which Macaulay so well 
describes, but we must hasten to Killaloe; 
partly to see the magnificent Lough Derg, on 
which it is situated, and taste the gillaroo trout, 
only found there, but chiefly to see the Falls of 
Doonass, near Castle Connell. There they are, 
in a district teeming with sylvan beauties, 
preventing any vessels plying between Limerick 
and Killaloe. 

Fortune never comes with both hands full; 


and half the utility of the Shannon, which 
otherwise would have been navigable for mode- 
rate-sized ships a» long way inland, is destroyed 
by these envious rapids occurring so near the 

Eight and left, as we pursue our way to 
Cashel, you see the richest agricultural district 
in Ireland, known as the " Grolden Vein," where 
a hundred barrels of potatoes, of twenty stone 
each, can be grown to the acre, and where the 
great square grass fields remind you of the best 
parts of Leicestershire. 

If we ascend the Eock of Cashel, we shall 
see all this country spread around us : Thurles, 
Tipperary, various mountains with long Celtic 
names, and half the county of Kilkenny. 

You ask if the county of Tipperary has the 
same bad pre-eminence for agrarian outrages it 
used to possess. I answer, no! The sales in 
the Encumbered Estates Court cleared out many 
of the old proprietors, and introduced others, 
some of them English and Scotch, who enlarged 


98 a saxon's remedy 

farms (helping the small holders of land to 
emigrate), gave leases, and improved generally. 

I always fancy, however, that in four or five 
of these midland counties the people are different 
from the rest of Ireland. They are bigger and 
gloomier, and less courteous, and are more like 
Yorkshiremen, down on their luck, and with a 

Cashel is a miserable little place to return a 
member to Parliament, but the association with 
the grand old ruins of the Cathedral and Eound 
Tower give the title to the best bishopric in 
Ireland. Mr. Bernal Osborne lately informed 
his constituents that in the diocese of Cashel 
and Waterford there were about 13,000 Protest- 
ants, and, I think, about 140 clergymen of the 
Church of England paid to preach to them. I 
have also been told that the religious consolation 
of each Protestant costs 12/. a head; these good 
people, therefore, and their spiritual directors, 
ought not to look sulky. 

To Kilkenny, another fine stretch of country 


has to be traversed, picturesque, tolerably well 
farmed, and productive; and you will find the 
town itself most interesting — not quite so gay 
perhaps as when Lady Morgan's father started a 
theatre there, to which noblemen and gentlemen 
put down their names for subscriptions most 
liberally, but who, for the most part, never paid 
the money — still retaining the Marquis of 
Ormonde, living in a fine castle within the town, 
and plenty of resident proprietors all about; 
notably, Colonel Tighe, of Woodstock, whose 
grounds, and little town of Innistiogue, are 
celebrated in more novels than one. Then there 
are the cathedral and some fine old churches, 
good streets, and every evidence of prosperity. 
Both coal and marble are got near here, but the 
former is only used in the neighbourhood. 

From this place to Kildare we pass through the 
little towns of Carlow and Athy, and through a 
well-farmed, tolerably fertile district, inhabited 
by well-to-do people, many holding several hun- 
dred acres, almost like England. 

h 2 


a saxon's remedy 

Never mind Kildare; it is the Curragh and 
camp we must look at, not the dirty little town. 
On this grand expanse of turf is something to 
suit all tastes ; plenty of officers and soldiers for 
military men and ladies, descendants of Irish 
Birdcatcher and Faugh-a-ballagh for sporting 
men to criticise, and unfortunate " Wrens" for 
philanthropists to reform, and the Pall Mall Ga- 
zette and Mr. Latouche to fight about. With a 
dry subsoil and a fine invigorating air, racing 
always going on, the famous " Kildares" to hunt 
with, and the gaieties of Dublin only an hour 
off, the Curragh cannot be a bad place to be 
quartered in. 

- As we pass through what Macaulay describes, 
somewhat erroneously, as a great sheep tract — for 
that implies sandy land, whereas the country on 
each side up to Dublin is peculiarly fertile, stud- 
ded with gentlemen's seats, and often presenting 
a park-like appearance — we cross one of those 
canals now little used, but by which formerly 
not only goods but passengers were conveyed ; 


and one wonders how such a mode of progression 
could be tolerated. 

In Dublin again ! and now the first part of my 
task is done. You have seen what Ireland is in 
its outward features, more at length than I at 
first contemplated. Of the north I have said little, 
because tenant-right, manufactures, and affinity 
of race make it more like Scotland ; just as Wick- 
low, Wexford, Carlow, and Kildare, as well as 
County Dublin (though they do not enjoy the 
blessing of tenant-right) are little behind average 
English counties in agricultural matters and the 
peaceable demeanour of their population. In 
much of the middle, south, and west you see 
there is enough bog and mountain to give foun- 
dation to the general opinion entertained about 
Ireland : there is much bad farming and many 
shiftless ways ; but the country is a grand country, 
far superior to Scotland in some things, and more 
accessible to a Londoner, easier to be reached by 
a Lancashire or Yorkshire man than Brighton or 
Hastings, yet less visited by all than the coast of 


Normandy ; where capital may be embarked in 
many ways with a certainty of good return — 
where vast heaths and mountains may be rented 
on easy terms, and the shooting, with a little care, 
be made as good as in the best part of Scotland ; 
and where the rivers and lakes teem with fish. 

The great-grandson of the Conqueror at Hast- 
ings commenced English rule in Ireland; it is a dis- 
grace to us that after all these years the country 
which by the advance of science is nearer to 
London than Bristol was a few years since, should 
be still talked of as the French speak of Algiers, 
should be our reproach among foreigners, and 
should be a dread and difficulty to us in England : 
let us now see why this is so, and try to find a 



HE early history of Ireland is of course in- 

volved in obscurity, but any one who observes 
the similarity of language between the Graelic, 
Welsh, and Irish, will have little difficulty in 
satisfying himself that the inhabitants of Eng- 
land, Scotland, and Ireland were of kindred races 
at the time the Romans first invaded Britain. 
There are evidences of tribes existing of an infe- 
rior organization at a period anterior to this in- 
vasion, and who had been driven to the lakes and 
morasses, and there are indications that the Phoe- 
nicians founded colonies in the west of Ireland ; 
therefore, being so well known, it seems curious 
that when Britain was thoroughly subdued, the 


104 a saxon's remedy 

Roman generals did not think it worth, their 
while to attempt the subjugation of the neigh- 
bouring island. 

Some historians contend that it was in con- 
templation of such an event that the Fenian force 
was organized. So much has been written about 
Finn McCoul and Diarmid, manifestly incorrect, 
that their existence has been doubted; but it 
seems probable that a kind of standing-army was 
formed by one of the chieftains, who was thereby 
enabled to obtain greater power \ that these men 
had lands set aside for them, which the non- 
military inhabitants were obliged to till ; finally, 
that taking different sides in a civil war, their 
number was greatly reduced, and, like the Janis- 
saries and Mamelukes, the Fenians disappeared 
from history. Except that they are supposed to 
have held their lands in common, there is no 
significance attached to the word Fenian j they 
were simply the soldiers of Finn, though the Irish 
have sometimes erroneously been called Fingal- 
lians, or the Fenian race. Some people even 


contend that the Fenians had a Scandinavian 
origin, and were, in fact, the first band of those 
sea rovers who overran Ireland in the ninth and 
tenth centuries. 

However this may be, Ireland became Chris- 
tianized at an early period, and had attained a 
considerable amount of civilization when the 
incursions of the Danes commenced. In their 
usual reckless manner, they burnt and destroyed 
wherever they went ; but finally subjugating a 
great part of the island, they intermarried with 
the people, and were the most formidable oppo- 
nents of Strongbow's army in Henry II/s time. 

Notwithstanding the division of land conse- 
quent upon this invasion, and the numerous wars 
and intrigues in which successive lords-deputies 
engaged, many old Irish chieftains retained their 
possessions till the time of Cromwell. During 
all this time, from Henry II. till Cromwell, in 
round numbers four hundred and fifty years, 
good government never seems to have prevailed, 
and the island was never tranquil : the great 


a saxon's remedy 

English, nobles were quite as difficult to manage 
and quite as lawless as the Irish chieftains. In 
Queen Elizabeth's time it was a doubtful point 
if her authority would be established, as army 
after army was defeated and the disgrace of 
Essex was partly owing to his bad success in 
Ireland. However, the climax of confusion en- 
sued in Charles I.'s reign. The Irish as a 
nation remained true to the Eoman Catholic 
faith, and when they rose in revolt, a dreadful 
massacre of Protestants took place. This mas- 
sacre was the turning-point of Irish history ; it 
was the cause of Cromwell's fearful reprisals, and 
of the division of the inhabitants into two dis- 
tinct bodies — first, the English or Protestant 
party; secondly, the Irish or Eoman Catholic 
party. The one, as I will proceed to explain, be- 
came possessed of all the property, power, and 
emoluments ; the other were the serfs, who, as 
long as they were perfectly docile and obedient, 
had a right to exist, and nothing more. 

No history is more perplexing than that of 


the Civil Wars in Ireland in the time of Charles I. 
Many of the leaders were continually changing 
sides ; and when the victorious Parliamentarians 
of England turned their attention to Ireland, it 
is recorded that they actually captured and 
threw into the sea a body of soldiers who had 
been actively fighting against the rebels. When 
Cromwell took the matter in hand, he acted in 
his usual straightforward manner. The principal 
cities were taken ; where resistance was offered, 
no quarter was given ; and the " Curse of Crom- 
well " is to this day a favourite mode of wishing 
evil fortune. His plan was simple and thorough 
enough to please any one. 

The native Irishry, as they were called, were 
to be driven to Connaught, the other three parts 
of Ireland were to be occupied by English and 
Scotch settlers. 

In the northern districts, the English com- 
panies and Scotch settlers occupied the lands, to 
the exclusion of the ancient inhabitants. The 
superior energy of the people, the favour shown 


a saxon's remedy 

to Protestants, and the prevalence of a custom 
that no tenant can be evicted except for non- 
payment of rent, also that he may dispose of the 
right to occupy his land should he wish to quit, 
have made the province of Ulster quite different 
from the rest of Ireland. 

InLeinster andMunster many Eoman Catholics, 
rebels, and partizans of Charles I., were killed, 
dispossessed, sold as slaves to the plantations, or 
driven into Connaught ; but many were quietly 
allowed to remain by the English or native 
Protestants who had acquired their land ; and 
many took to the mountains, and becoming 
Tories or Eapparees, plundered where formerly 
they had received rents. 

"When James II. attempted to re-establish the 
Catholic faith, the times looked better for these 
dispossessed gentlemen ; some of them resumed 
their old inheritances when James himself came 
to Ireland, aided by the French; and if Deny 
had been taken, the Protestants would have 
suffered the horrors of Drogheda ; but after the 


siege of that town was raised — after the " Boyne 
and Aughrim" — and after the surrender of 
Limerick by Sarsfield, Protestantism again be- 
came completely in the ascendant. 

Looking back to the Irish massacres, the con- 
stant trouble given by that nation, and the 
necessity for putting down once and for ever 
Papal domination, one cannot wonder at the 
wholesale transference of property from the van- 
quished to the successful party, or at the severe 
enactments levelled against Irish and Eoman 
Catholics. Had the other party been victorious, 
they would probably have been as bloodthirsty 
and unrelenting. 

In those days, almost every bit of real pro- 
perty and every particle of power were taken 
from the Irish, who were looked upon as an alien 
and a conquered race. William's Dutch favourites 
received whole counties of land ; and French 
refugees, flying from the bigotry of Louis XIV., 
recovered in Ireland and from Papists the equi- 
valent of property they had lost in Prance for 

110 a s axon's remedy 

having protested against Popery. Nevertheless, 
William III. was blamed by the English Parlia- 
ment for being too indulgent to Irish Catholics, 
and the English Parliament was appealed to by 
the Catholics themselves as being more honourable 
in its conduct than the Parliament of Ireland. It 
cannot, therefore, be doubted that the Protestants 
of Ireland, many of whom had lately endured the 
extremities of fire and sword, strained the penal 
laws to the utmost against the conquered race. 
In one respect, however, both Protestants and 
Catholics alike were unjustly treated ; and the 
celebrated "Drapier Letters" of Swift are a 
lasting proof of the intolerant attempts of 
England to crush all efforts to establish manu- 
factures in Ireland. 

The position of the new landlords required 
that they should not altogether break with the 
native population. A great tract of land is of 
little use to a man unless there are labourers to 
till it. Many of the sons or relations of the 
former proprietors agreed to pay rent for liberty 


to farm part of tlieir late possessions ; and leases 
for ever, for lives, or for long terms of years, 
were frequent during the eighteenth century. 

Gradually, as the population increased, the 
subdivision of land and the rents increased also ; 
and as there was hardly any trade or manufac- 
tures, as the gentry were for the most part reck- 
less and improvident, the situation of the smaller 
farmers and the peasantry became wretched in 
the extreme. All this time the laws against 
Papists continued not only severe, but absurd. 
A Eoman Catholic was not allowed to possess a 
horse of over five pounds' value, and instances are 
told of Irish gentlemen being compelled to dis- 
mount and give up their valuable hunters for 
this sum. At length came the American decla- 
ration of independence, followed by the French 

The French and other foreign armies had hun- 
dreds of Irishmen in their ranks ever since the 
capitulation of Limerick. Many Irish, and de- 
scendants of Irish, fought under Washington, 


and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, bearing the proudest 
name in Ireland, and who had married the natu- 
ral daughter of the late King Louis-Philippe's 
father, was to head an insurrection and form 
Ireland into a republic. 

Looking back to those days when England had 
so many enemies, it is singular that none of the 
soldiers of fortune so abundant in Europe and 
America, threw in their lot with their insurgent 
countrymen; also that the genius of Napoleon 
did not mark the weak spot in which British in- 
fluence could be assailed. As it was, when Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald had been captured, none of 
the leaders showed the slightest military talent ; 
almost their only successes were in Leinster, 
where they captured Wexford and Enniscorthy ; 
at Arklow and New Eoss they omitted to push 
advantages which should have led to decisive 
victories ; at Vinegar Hill, when fairly brought 
to bay and engaged with a real army, they broke 
and fled after very little fighting ; and except at 
Antrim, where Lord O'Neill was killed, the rebels 


in every part of Ireland were never formidable in 
the field. The French were unable to land at 
Bantry, and the few who disembarked at Killala 
came too late, and after displaying much valour 
and moderation of conduct, were captured to a 

Then came the reprisals ; many shocking cruel- 
ties had been perpetrated by the insurgents, but 
nothing could exceed the barbarities with which 
they were avenged. Lord Cornwallis had com- 
manded in America and in India, but he was 
disgusted with the evil spirit which possessed 
his party. A clergyman at Arklow, who had 
been obliged to fly for his life from the rebels, 
has left his written opinion that the Eoyalist 
yeomanry were the more bloodthirsty of the two. 
Protestant gentlemen, Catholic priests, and Pres- 
byterian parsons perished on the gibbet; sur- 
geons who had been compelled to dress the 
wounds of rebels, kind-hearted gentlemen who 
had used their influence to save life, were shot 
by martial law, on no other evidence than the 


114 a saxon's remedy 

accusation of those they had benefited ; the sum- 
mary executions without evidence of guilt, the 
wanton destruction of life and property, are chro- 
nicled not only in the pages of novelists, but in 
the diaries of English officers ; and while they 
are remembered with horror and indignation by 
the descendants of the victims in Ireland and 
America, it is to be hoped that it is also re- 
collected that it was the Irish Eoyalists and 
yeomanry who were eager for bloodshed and 
rapine, and the English Government and soldiery 
who repressed instead of encouraged excesses. 

I am particular in dilating upon the events of 
1798, because, after the re-distribution of lands 
under Cromwell and "William III., it is the most 
important point for the consideration of us as 
Englishmen. The Protestant party always refer 
to it as a proof that in the memory of living 
men the Catholics have shown themselves san- 
guinary rebels, not fit to be trusted with power. 
It has kept alive among them that feeling of 
mingled hatred, fear, and scorn with which the 


Irish were regarded by the English colonists of 
two hundred years ago. On the other hand, '98 
is still bitterly remembered by many Irishmen. 
A man who can dimly remember his father and 
mother being shot, and all the family property 
destroyed, because his name happened to be the 
same as that of a rebel leader, can hardly be ex- 
pected to have friendly feelings towards the sons 
of the Yeomanry captain who perpetrated the 
outrage ; and it is hard to persuade the country 
people that a gentleman who is crippled for life, 
and who happens to be the immediate descendant 
of an officer who cut off the head of a poor car- 
man for not bringing up ammunition quickly 
enough, is not expiating his ancestor's crime. 
The sons of men who were flogged, had pitched 
caps put on their heads, or were scored with a 
hot iron, not because they had done anything 
wrong, but to force them to give or invent evi- 
dence, must have ugly thoughts in their minds 
now and then, particularly if they are turned out 
of their own little holdings ; and if they emigrate 


116 a s axon's remedy 

to America may tell tales of the condition of 
Ireland calculated to rouse up dangerous feelings 
in the breasts of their countrymen. 

One effect of the Eebellion was to determine 
the Government of England to bring about the 
Union with Ireland. We have now learned that 
the intentions of Pitt and Castlereagh were 
exceedingly liberal and enlightened, and it must 
have been evident to any one with a head on his 
shoulders, that upwards of three millions of 
dissatisfied Irishmen might become fatal arbiters 
in the war we were waging with France. Castle- 
reagh himself had spoken of the necessity for 
reforming the Irish Parliament, and the " United 
Irishmen" had stated that they only became 
republicans when conviction was forced upon 
them that reformation of the Constitution of 
Ireland, under the English Government, was 

The most influential of the Eoman Catholics 
were in favour of the Union. Dr. Troy, Catholic 
Archbishop of Dublin, states that the generality 


of Catholics considered the measure their only 
protection against the faction which seemed bent 
on their destruction. He mentions an instance 
of a priest having been murdered, the chapel 
burnt, and no one daring to succeed him. As 
Lord Castlereagh's plan comprehended payment, 
on a moderate scale, of the clergy of all denomi- 
nations, as well as admission of Eoman Catholics 
to the Houses of Parliament, there is no doubt 
the great measure, if carried out as intended, 
would really have made England and Ireland one 
country. The chief opposition came from the 
owners of boroughs and the holders of places, 
and poor Lord Cornwallis had terrible work to 
be civil to these greedy gentlemen, who, he said, 
he had much rather kick. 

"When the measure was at length passed, all 
the promises to the Catholics were broken ; and 
it is lamentable to reflect that the bigoted scru- 
ples of George III. (who a short time previously 
had been for months deprived of his kingly 
power, threatened, and even beaten, as was the 

118 a s axon's remedy 

brutal practice of those days with lunatics), 
should still have been able to work such fatal 

It has well been said, that if Mr. Pitt had 
then boldly abolished all religious and com- 
mercial distinctions, Ireland would long since 
have lost all traces of a separate nationality : he 
resigned office when Greorge III. refused him 
the power of redeeming his pledges. 

In 1803, Lord Eedesdale, the Irish Lord Chan- 
cellor, wrote so offensively to Lord Fingal, rela- 
tive to the Eoman Catholics, that the discussion 
thereby provoked in the House hastened the fall 
of the Addington Administration, and Pitt re- 
turned to office in 1804 : it was then considered 
that the promises he had made to the Catholics 
would be fulfilled, but unfortunately he had 
been weak enough to make certain engagements 
to the king. The Prince of Wales professed 
himself in favour of their, claims, and Pox 
brought them before the House, but the motion 
was rejected by an overwhelming majority. 


It is difficult to account for the bigotry that 
prevailed in England during this period; Pitt 
called the treatment of the Pope by Napoleon 
almost sacrilege, we were supporting the Bour- 
bons, allied to the House of Austria, professing — 
nay, even feeling, the greatest hatred for Napo- 
leon and the French, and of liberals and free- 
thinkers generally, but in 1807 the feeling of 
the whole nation was virulent against Catho- 
licism. Of course this utter want of faith irri- 
tated the Irish party beyond measure ; the genius 
of O'Connell began to make itself felt ; a cry was 
raised to repeal the Union. In 1812, with the 
Prince of Wales as Eegent, it was considered 
they had another chance, but the Prince broke 
his word and threw the weight of his influence 
in the opposite scale, and the motion of the 
celebrated orator, Mr. Grattan, in their favour, was 
rejected. It is said that O'Connell's assertion that 
Lord Yarmouth could not have inoculated the 
Prince with the theory or practice of excessive 
piety was never forgotten nor forgiven. 


a saxon's remedy 

It was at this time Sir Kobert, then Mr. Peel, 
became Irish Secretary, and was so different to 
what he afterwards became, that he was called 
" Orange Peel." 

During this period agrarian outrages and 
assassinations prevailed to a dreadful extent ; 
even in those days of high prices the land was 
let as high as it could bear ; when the rent was 
paid, tithes for the maintenance of the Pro- 
testant Church were levied ; when an election 
took place the tenantry often had to vote for 
their Protestant landlords or be turned out of 
their farms. There was no Poor Law — thus to 
be turned out was to starve; nevertheless the 
farmers often voted contrary to their landlord's 
dictation, and were evicted : but the landlord, his 
agent, or the new tenant, ran imminent risk 
from the secret societies. 

After the Peace in 1815, rents still remained 
high, though the price of produce fell ; wholesale 
eviction was the order of the day, and White- 
boys, Caravats, and Shanavests tried, sentenced, 


and executed those whom they considered their 

Soon after Greorge IV.'s accession to the throne, 
he visited Ireland, and those who advised him to 
take such a step well calculated on the extra- 
ordinary veneration the people have there for the 
name of king and the visible presence of their 
ruler. Everyone was exuberantly loyal, broken 
promises were forgotten, and even O'Connell was 
fervent in his devotion to the stout elderly gen- 
tleman, who hardly dare show himself in the 
streets of his own capital, so unpopular had 
he become, owing to the unseemly display 
connected with the funeral of Queen Caro- 

No measures favourable to Ireland followed 
this visit; but the Marquis of Wellesley, who 
again became Lord-Lieutenant, held an even 
hand over Catholics and Protestants, and far- 
sighted men perceived that the inconsistency 
which had now prevailed for thirty years, of 
allowing Catholics to vote for members of Parlia- 


ment, but not to sit there themselves, could no 
longer be kept up. 

In 1829 the Duke of Wellington and Sir 
Kobert Peel perceived that the measure of relief 
which had been so long promised to the Eoman 
Catholics could not be delayed, and the Act 
known as " Catholic Emancipation" was finally 
carried; though the King, even at the last 
moment, stated he was coerced into it, and his 
brother, the Duke of Cumberland, was vehement 
in his opposition. The Duke of Clarence, after- 
wards "William IV., made a great impression by 
his statement of the joy which would have been 
felt by Nelson and other naval heroes had they 
been alive to see the Irish Catholic sailors, who 
had joined with Protestants in defending the 
British flag, made equal with themselves in civil 
and religious liberty. 



fj^HE great measure of relief afforded to the 
Catholics was unfortunately ascribed more to 
the fear of O'Connell' s agitation than to the wish 
to do justice on the part of the legislature. 
O'Connell had been elected for Clare before the 
Act passed, but on presenting himself to be 
sworn, was required to take the oath that was in 
force previously. Of course he had to resign and be 
re-elected ; and to a man of his temperament this 
course appeared humiliating. "When Sir Eobert 
Peel resigned soon after, matters were not mended 
under Earl Grrey. O'Connell would not give up 
agitating; he continued to make dangerous 
speeches, and to insist on the repeal of the Union. 
His object was to have a parliament on Stephen's 


a saxon's remedy 

Green, of which he should be the master 

Mr. Stanley, the Irish Secretary, now Earl 
Derby, was not a man to be intimidated, and 
O'Connell soon disliked him as much as he did 

Agrarian outrages still continued, and many 
of the most eminent of the Eoman Catholic 
divines acknowledged the necessity for the 
Coercion Bill. The truth was, that the secret 
societies went far beyond even the " wild justice 
of revenge" O'Connell talked of; whole families 
were murdered, not because they had violated 
any of the unwritten laws respecting land, but 
because one of them had resisted being plun- 
dered of arms, or was suspected of having given 
evidence about, perhaps, some petty matter. 

No doubt the energies of O'Connell and the 
melodies of Moore riveted the public attention to 
the wrongs of Ireland ; but it will always be a 
debated point if the constant promise of " Eepeal," 
the virulent abuse of everyone who opposed him, 


and the blind obedience the former exacted from 
the other Irish members, did not delay many 
necessary measures. 

The application of the new Corporation Act 
to Ireland was certainly put off because the 
English Members of the House of Commons 
feared O'Connell would rule all municipal 

However, the Eeform Bill of 1S32, and many 
subsequent Whig measures, were carried partly 
through the influence of O'Connell and his 
" Tail." As session succeeded session more 
useful enactments were passed ; Ireland obtained 
a Poor Law, and the grant to Maynooth College 
was much increased. It was at this time that 
the House of Commons lost another grand op- 
portunity of gratifying the Catholic party in 
Ireland, by refusing to throw open Trinity 
College to all denominations. Mr. Sheil, who, 
with more polished eloquence than O'Connell, 
had greater prudence and moderation, made a 
magnificent speech in favour of equality in all 

126 a saxon's remedy 

respects, "social, political, official, and ecclesias- 
tical." "If," said he, "you apply your 18,000/. 
a-year to the establishment of new professorships 
and new fellowships in the Metropolitan and 
National Institutions, Englishmen will get a 
value in peace, in contentment, in pacificatory 
results for their money." 

In 1842 O'Connell renewed his agitation for 
Eepeal in a most energetic manner, and in 1843 
gathered together immense numbers of people, 
whom he addressed in language so heart-stirring, 
and so provocative to insurrection, that even he 
could not have kept them in check (and he was 
a man who always deprecated actual treason) if 
his hearers had been excited by whisky. But 
at that time Father Mathew, the celebrated 
Apostle of Temperance, had almost as much 
influence as O'Connell himself, and had com- 
pletely changed the habits of the people. 

It was at that period I first visited Ireland, 
and spent some weeks in traversing in cars the 
Midland, West, and Southern counties. No 


drunkenness whatever was to be seen, though 
whisky was ridiculously cheap; if you offered 
your driver something to drink, he chose ginger- 
beer; all outrages had entirely ceased; the 
people were courteous and obliging, but evidently 
watching and waiting for some great event. 
Often in the south and west I was accompanied 
in my rambles over the mountains by a dozen 
or so of persons ; only one or two asked ques- 
tions, for often few among them could speak or 
understand English, but what I said was inter- 
preted to the rest. " If O'Connell helped to get 
the Eepeal of the Corn-Laws in England, would 
the English repeal the Union ?" was one of the 
questions constantly asked. "Had the French 
gone to war with England, and did I think they 
would land in Ireland?" was another; we had a 
great deal of talk about the new workhouses, 
which at that time hardly anyone would 
enter. But we were always very good friends, 
and I felt perfectly safe (as all strangers are 
in Ireland), though I passed by the scenes of 

128 a saxon's remedy 

many terrible deeds of murder and destruc- 

The meeting of Tara, where O'Connell went 
nearer to treason than ever before, is as vividly 
before my mind as if it were yesterday. The 
Hill of Tara is where the ancient kings of 
Ireland were crowned, and as the half-million of 
people covered every yard of ground round the 
elevated position from which O'Connell spoke, 
attentive to every motion of his arm and every 
inflection of his voice, in figure and attitude he 
might have passed for a sovereign himself ; but 
there was nothing of nobility in his face ; it was 
terribly wrinkled, and he had an expression half 
sly, half humorous, reminding one rather of a 
merry old woman, as he wore an unmistakeable 
wig, and had no hair on his face. Many of his 
hearers had come scores of miles to hear him, 
and looked fagged and hungry, so much so, 
indeed, that though none begged, I bought 
rough griddle cakes, which was the principal 
food to be procured in the tents scattered about, 


and gave them to some of those who seemed 
most weary: I saw some well-dressed persons 
doing the same, but there was so little to eat, 
that I am sure many must have suffered greatly ; 
indeed, as we went home at night, the poor 
wretches were lying about the roads thoroughly 
exhausted, and it was all our driver could do to 
avoid injuring them. 

O'Connell made two speeches that day — one 
to the people on the hill, the other at the ban- 
quet which took place afterwards. Though very 
young, still, as my family had always taken an 
active part in politics, and O'Connell had been 
recently staying with some of them, I was placed 
very near him on both occasions, and heard every 
word he said. I did not think much of his 
speech on the hill, but it seemed to have an im- 
mense effect on his auditory. He made a great 
point of the pecuniary loss Ireland had sustained 
by the Union, which he said his son John could 
prove in defiance of any Saxon financier. He had 
two or three pet expressions, which, when used, 



a saxon's remedy 

created tremendous cheering that re-echoed for 
miles. The cold dinner, which was only five 
shillings, was not so well attended as might have 
been expected considering the lowness of the 
charge and the difficulty of getting refreshments 
elsewhere — a convincing proof to me that those 
who had joined the movement were more nume- 
rous than influential. 

There were some French and American sym- 
pathizers — Ledru Rollin, I think, among the 
former. Some of the guests had little tufts of 
grass of a peculiar colour, which by a stretch of 
imagination might be likened to blood, and it 
was said this was in consequence of the slaughter 
of rebels in this place in '98. 

O'Connell spoke here more quietly than in the 
morning, but he treated the dissolution of the 
Union as certain to take place. " The difference," 
he said, " between himself and the Ministry was, 
that the Duke of Wellington mumbled it, while 
he (O'Connell) spoke right out." In describing 
the good conduct of the people, he said, " The 


immense multitude had dispersed quietly to their 
homes, but where would they be if the Saxon was 
at the door ?" This expression, and the constant 
tirade against both Tories and Whigs, in which 
other speakers joined, were all that, in my inex- 
perience, I thought dangerous ; but I believe 
Government thought more of his taking upon 
himself to appoint arbitrators to settle disputes 
instead of the regular legal authorities, and in 
other ways assuming a power above the law, than 
of anything else, except, indeed, the calling to- 
gether such enormous masses of people. 

The Ministry were aware, too, that the " Young 
Ireland" party was suggesting more violent mea- 
sures than O'Connell approved, so that he must 
either go forward or resign his power to more 
reckless and inexperienced hands. Accordingly 
a vice-regal proclamation prevented the monster 
meeting at Clontarf in October, and O'Connell 
was tried with his principal coadjutors in Janu- 
ary following. 

England was in a state of great agitation about 
k 2 

132 a saxon's uemedy 

the repeal of the Corn Laws, and the true policy 
would have been to have won O'Connell by cer- 
tain concessions, and to have used his influence 
against the " Young Ireland " party. However, 
he was brought to trial, and sentenced to im- 
prisonment ; but the sentence was soon reversed 
by the House of Lords. 

The last days of O'Connell were embittered by 
seeing that Mr. Smith O'Brien had obtained the 
virtual leadership of the party he himself had so 
long headed ; and after his death the travestie of 
rebellion which terminated in the transportation 
of Mr. O'Brien and his followers, showed how 
weak was the mind which attempted to carry out 
plans too difficult even for the powerful intellect 
which for twenty years had directed four-fifths 
of the Irish nation. 

And now came the terrible disaster which, with 
its consequences, completely changed everything 
in Ireland. Free admission of corn was not 
granted a minute too soon, for an extraordinary 
blight fell upon the potatoes in Ireland. Many 


people say that if Lord Greorge Bentinck's pro- 
posal of granting loans for the construction of 
railways there had been carried out, both present 
and permanent advantages would have ensued 5 
but though that motion was, perhaps unfortu- 
nately, negatived, the English Government nobly 
did their duty. Famine and fever had before 
fallen upon the Irish, but the scarcity and dis- 
ease on former occasions were mild inflictions in 
comparison with the fearful sufferings of 1847. 
Meal and money were sent over from England ; 
roads and other public works were undertaken ; 
many of the upper and middle classes did their 
duty, and spent money and time, and risked 
health and life in giving assistance, though some 
selfishly ran away or shut themselves up in their 

In spite of all, the numbers of those who died 
of starvation in their cabins or in the fields far 
exceeded any slaughter in Cromwell's time. 
Dead bodies were carried to holes in the bogs in 
cofiins with sliding bottoms, so that their con- 


a saxon's remedy 

tents could be left in tlie ground and tlie coffins 
be used again. 

Unfortunately, the prevalence of redtapeism and 
the deficiency of administrative talent in English 
government officials were painfully apparent ; 
some of the starving got no relief, while people 
comfortably off received liberal allowances. Fa- 
milies lying ill of fever could not get to the 
places where food was given away, and there was 
often no one to find them out and bring succour. 

At length the famine and pestilence passed 
away. Then came other troubles. 

The hitherto despised workhouses had been 
filled to overflowing, and buildings had to be 
hired as adjuncts. The poor-rates rose to a 
ruinous extent, and landlords who could get no 
rent had nevertheless to pay mortgages and their 
proportion of the poor-rates. 

Some landlords commenced clearing their 
lands : they got rid of the tenants, assisting 
them to emigrate when able and willing, but still 
getting rid of them. In hundreds of cases land- 


lords who had let large lots of land to middle- 
men, recovered possession of what w r as let for 
long terms of years, and even for ever. 

Then it became apparent how difficult it was 
to make a good legal title to many Irish estates. 
The Encumbered Estates Act was passed, which 
enabled the court in Dublin to give a new title 
to real property in a cheap and binding form. 

Mortgagees by hundreds foreclosed their mort- 
gages, and the estates of some of the oldest and 
most extensive landholders in Ireland were 
brought to the hammer 

The Act was an excellent rough-and-ready way 
of surmounting a difficulty, and has worked 
great benefit to the country ; but the ruin which 
befel many respectable and hitherto wealthy 
families was terrible. 

Not merely the old proprietors were often re- 
duced almost to poverty, but those who had 
second mortgages or charges on estates lost every 

There was great commercial distress in Eng- 


land. The railway and revolutionary panic 
there had not been got over. Few dare buy 
property in Ireland, and many sales took place 
before twenty years' purchase on the fair letting 
value was attained. 

Sir Bernard Burke has chronicled the reverses 
that befel many of the Irish aristocracy, and it 
is not long since I saw the common necessaries 
of life refused to a gentleman who had been 
high sheriff and deputy-lieutenant of three 
counties, in all of which he had large possessions. 
Only the other day I saw the eldest son of 
another gentleman, formerly master of fox- 
hounds in his native county, carrying the 
luggage of steamboat passengers. 

Still, as time wore on prices rose, for every 
farmer and professional man who had saved 
money invested in land. English and Scotch 
buyers came in, and finally the operations of the 
Encumbered Estates Court were most beneficial 
to many proprietors whose estates were loaded 
with debt. I paid a visit to one nobleman in 


1853, where the precautions to guard against 
bailiffs were equal to anything Maxwell de- 
scribes, and where every dodge was resorted to 
in order to effect an entrance, so that the garrison 
was almost starved into a surrender; but in a 
few weeks after two-thirds of the property fetched 
so much more than was expected, that all the 
debts were cleared off, and the old nobleman was 
quite in comfortable circumstances. 

Meantime emigration went on, for every pur- 
chaser strove to get estates free from squatters, 
or tenants holding small patches of land ; and if 
he did buy a property so circumstanced, he gave 
considerably less for it, and then spent no slight 
percentage on the purchase-money in paying the 
passage of any he could induce to go to America 
or elsewhere. 

Whenever the history of Ireland is written, 
the famine of 1847 and the operations of the 
Encumbered Estates Court will be mentioned as 
turning points from which to date great changes 
in the habits of the people, which led to a great 

138 a saxon's remedy 

deal of prosperity and improvement in the middle 
and lower classes. 

At the same time the famine and its results 
were unjustly charged to the apathy of the Eng- 
lish Government ; and it has been so frequently 
asserted by the seditious press of Ireland that 
millions were starved to death and driven into 
exile by Saxon calculation, that many thou- 
sands in Ireland and America believe the as- 

The cities in America were filled with emi- 
grants who, after seeing relations and friends die 
around them, had their cabins unroofed and 
levelled, and been forced to quit their country, 
or, if more fortunate and gratified with a few 
pounds, had yet the conviction that they must 
seek their livelihood in another land. That these 
emigrants rapidly saved money in America, and 
sent for their relatives to join them, is a well- 
known fact; and that small farmers, domestic 
servants, and skilled labourers gave up comfort- 
able situations and followed their friends, is also 


a matter of notoriety. Nor can it be doubted 
that the enforced exodus which succeeded the 
famine was composed of people who carried with 
them a bitter grudge against the English Go- 
vernment and the Irish aristocracy, which has 
since been turned to account on the other side 
of the Atlantic. 

From 1850 till 1863 Ireland made rapid 
strides. That surplus population living on 
potatoes and working for sixpence a day, which 
was the despair of political economists, had dis- 
appeared ; much of the land had passed into the 
hands of energetic farmers or men of business, 
who had drained, levelled immense banks and 
ditches which took up so much valuable room, 
and increased the rate of wages ; railways were 
made to most of the principal towns, steamers 
were put on to many Irish ports, and there was 
a constant rise in the prices of meat, butter, 
corn, &c, which encouraged the reclamation of 
much waste land. The principal banks in Ire- 
land were full of money, landed property con- 

140 a saxon's remedy 

tinned to rise invalne; and the constant erection 
of fine houses in the watering-places towards the 
Wicklow coast, and the transformation of many 
of the streets in Dublin, showed the general pros- 
perity of the commercial classes. 

Two or three things, however, were noticed 
by observant men. Firstly, absenteeism did not 
cease with the greater prosperity of Ireland, and 
the Queen and Royal Family took no means to 
make that island fashionable as a place of resort * 
secondly, though the Eoman Catholic members 
of the bar certainly got their full share of good 
things, in the way of judgeships, &c, the lord- 
lieutenants of counties were Tories of the old 
class, who kept men of their own way of think- 
ing in great preponderance on the bench, and in 
various ways countenanced the idea that country 
gentlemen must be Protestants and Conserva- 
tives ; thirdly, that the Land Question and the 
Church Question were as far from being settled 
as ever, and that the little insignificant conces- 
sions which were talked of in the House were 


utterly nnsuited to the requirements of the 
priesthood and the tenantry of Ireland. 

At length came the American civil war. The 
necessity the North had of obtaining the un- 
qualified support of the Irish emigrants, the in- 
dignation felt against us for permitting the 
escape of the Alabama, and for manifesting a 
good deal of interest in the Confederate cause, 
were all elements in producing certain aspira- 
tions amongst sanguine Irish refugees and un- 
scrupulous agitators. 

The result was the Fenian conspiracy, which, 
as far as open insurrection has gone, is most 
contemptible, but which has had a blighting 
effect on the dawning prosperity of Ireland, has 
rendered the state of affairs there a matter of 
anxiety to every inhabitant of these islands, and 
necessitates bold and decided, but liberal and 
comprehensive, measures on the part of our 

I have now finished my sketch of the History 
of Ireland, and I beg you to note, my good 

142 a saxon's remedy 

friends, that a great many Irishmen believe they 
were wealthy and prosperous, and held countless 
acres of land to " their own cheek," till Cromwell 
and "William III. despoiled them, and bestowed 
their possessions on certain Saxons who still 
wrongfully hoM^tfe-^ame ; the destruction of 
many abbeys and religfofcg %ouses, and the con- 
version of Catholic cathedrals into Protestant 
churches took place at the same time. Both 
Protestants and Catholics are well aware that 
during the eighteenth century your ancestors 
stamped out with their broad Saxon feet all 
Irish attempts at manufactures. Many Pro- 
testants and Catholics consider also that by 
bribery your fathers bought up their Lords and 
Commons in the beginning of this century, 
saddled the country with an undue proportion 
of debt, and drew money out of it by taking the 
landlords to the London Parliament House to 
spend rents acquired in Ireland. Finally, that 
you yourselves, perhaps by cold-blooded calcula- 
tion, certainly by Saxon apathy, starved hundreds 


of thousands in the famine year, and drove a yet 
greater number into exile. You have allowed 
unprincipled people to say and write these things 
for years, and are only just now awaking to the 
fact that the Irish may be at once more sus- 
picious and more credulous than yourselves; 
suspicious of their rulers, and credulous in be- 
lieving lies about them. All these things you 
must consider when the Irish question comes to 
be dealt with. 

I will now give a short sketch of the Fenian 
Conspiracy, of which I knew something from 
American sources five years since, but like many 
cleverer men took little heed of. 



" T AM sorry for your country, sir/ 5 said an 
American to me, as we strolled along the 
Chiaja at Naples one beautiful moonlight night, 
five years ago. Now at the hotel where I was 
staying we had some very stiff arguments after 
dinner in the smoking-room. There were half-a- 
dozen Americans, four of whom were gentle- 
manly young fellows, heartily sick of the war, 
but the other two, though shrewd, long-headed 
Yankees, and good-natured withal, bragged of 
their country and its resources beyond bearing ; 
then there was a Scotch colonel who had shot 
the biggest tiger that was ever seen, and a 
Glasgow man, who boasted of Scotland as if all 
her sons had been equal to Sir William Wallace ; 


also three or four Irishmen, one of whom had 
won all the steeple-chases at Punchestown, and 
all of whom had a good deal to say about " down- 
trodden Erin," and the wonders of valour her 
sons had performed, so that England, represented 
by me, was only upheld from sinking into a 
third-rate power by constant argument. Thus I 
was hardly astonished when my American friend 
kindly expressed his commiseration for poor 
' John Bull. 

" Oh," said I, " I am as sorry as you can be 
about the Alabama ; it is a great pity privateer- 
ing was allowed at all. Eobbing and destroying 
private property is a mean kind of warfare, but 
I rather think, Mr. Bunkum, privateering would 
have been put an end to altogether at the time 
of the Bussian war, by the general consent of 
all civilized nations, if some of the smart men 
on your side of the Atlantic had not considered 
that America had better retain the privilege." 

u That is as it may be," said Mr. Bunkum ; 
" but I can tell you this, sir, our people are keeping 



a saxon's remedy 

an account of all the damage that is done by the 
privateers that your Government allow the in- 
surgent Southerns to get hold of, and every cent 
you will have to pay." 

"Well, my good friend/' said I, "I am quite 
sure we shan't fight you, if we can avoid it; but 
you know my opinion pretty well already, that, 
if we were forced to fight, you would stand no 
chance whatever with us, even if you had con- 
quered the South, which it is by no means clear 
you can do/ 5 

"Well, sir/ 5 said Mr, Bunkum, "as to the 
South, you'll see by-and-by ; and, as I suppose, 
you wont deny the undoubted fact that our fleet 
is more powerful than the English and French 
navies put together " 

Here I expressed my strong dissent as Mr- 
Bunkum went on — 

" But we shall have no occasion to go to war 
with you ; there are in our service at this moment 
five hundred thousand Irish soldiers, and there 
are a hundred thousand in the Southern army ; 


now as soon as the South is put down, if we give 
these men leave to go to Canada and Ireland, 
they will be joined by an equal number of men 
in those two countries, and will form a grand 
Hibernian republic, which w T ill overshadow the 
British empire, and which w r e can annex to the 
United States w T hen w r e think proper/ 5 

" That's a pretty plan/' said I ; " but your Irish 
friends have a dirty bit of water to cross, and a 
few little difficulties in the way of storms, war- 
steamers, and so forth.' 5 

"Well, sir," said Mr. Bunkum, "I calculate 
there may be a slight hitch there ; but your fleet 
will be sent off to Canada, and the Fenian 
organization can buy up a good many of our 
vessels at the close of the war; besides, thou- 
sands of them w r ould go over as passengers and 

" Fenians," said I ; " we have heard something 
of them. They are going to re-divide all the 
land in Ireland, and put down both parsons and 
priests ; a very nice plan for those who have got 

l 2 

148 a saxon's remedy 

nothing. I should not think there are many- 
Fenians in Ireland/' 

" I beg your pardon, sir/' said he ; u there is 
one in every village, who is what they call a 
centre ; he is often a shopkeeper, who has been 
in America; he communicates with the head- 
centre, who manages a district, and they have all 
laws and regulations, and correspond with their 
friends in America ; every one subscribes, and 
there is not a servant girl in the States that 
does not put by part of her wages towards the 
establishment of the great Fenian republic. It is 
calculated that when they all rise together, Great 
Britain will see the folly of attempting to keep 
an island that has given her nothing but 
trouble, and will just let Ireland go and govern 

We had a good deal more conversation of the 
same kind ; a great deal of what Mr. Bunkum 
said at all times appeared half romance, and I 
thought very little of his information. Probably 
the Earl of Carlisle and Sir Bobert Peel had 


as little idea of any serious conspiracy threaten- 
ing tlie growing prosperity of Ireland, as of the 
sea solving the problem of how to make Ireland 
prosperous and contented by submerging the 
island for a couple of hours, as has been recom- 

Gradually, however, it was noticed that a great 
many emigrants who had been some years in 
America came back to their native country 5 
some of these appeared well off, had small shops 
or public-houses, and were very popular among 
the lower orders : they told such Munchausen-like 
tales of the power of America, the size of her 
cities, and the estimation in which the Irish were 
held there, that the wonder was that they should 
have returned. 

There is hardly a small farmer or domestic 
servant in Ireland who has not relations in 
America ; and I was much amused at being 
asked by tenants and servants of my own such 
questions as " Whether Albany was not bigger 
than London, and New York bigger than London 

150 a s axon's remedy 

and Paris put together." About three years ago 
the old questions about the French being at 
enmity with England were revived, and though 
of course I told my interlocutors that the French 
Emperor was much more likely to take his fleet 
to America than to Ireland, my experience of the 
Irish character enabled me to see that I was only 
half credited. A little before this time the long 
tenure of office by the Earl of Carlisle had ter- 
minated. No man was more amiable, or took 
more pains to make himself popular : he was 
always ready to go anywhere and do anything, 
but the authorities at home did not enable him 
to foster improvements so much as he desired. 

As taxation in Ireland, by the imposition of 
income-tax and the extra duty on whisky, had 
decidedly increased, it was expected more would 
havfr been done in the way of assistance to har- 
bours, &c. 

However, no one ever blamed Lord Carlisle, 
whose melancholy death created deep feelings of 
sorrow in the country he so long governed. 


Lord Wodehouse — now Earl of Kimberley — 
made a very different viceroy. Naturally keen 
and clever, a residence among the Eussian 
diplomatists had made him preternaturally sharp 
and suspicions. When deputations went to him 
to ask for assistance they had no right to expect 
— not an uncommon thing in Ireland — they soon 
found Lord Wodehouse knew more about the 
matter than they did, and they were glad to retire 
from the presence in an exceedingly crestfallen 
condition, being exposed to the jokes of their 
friends who perused the account of their discom- 
fiture in the public prints. If, on the contrary, 
Government assistance was craved for a necessary 
work, Lord Wodehouse was so eloquent on the 
desirability of those chiefly interested in it 
raising the requisite funds, and was so confident 
Parliament would not sanction public money 
being used, that the deputation felt that they 
were civilly put out of court, and might as well 
have stayed at home. 

At this time the Fenian conspiracy had ar- 

152 a s axon's remedy 

rived at a certain stage when it required a keen, 
resolute man, accustomed to intrigue and diplo- 
macy, to deal with it. Lord Wodehouse had the 
good sense to take precautionary measures which 
many of us ridiculed but which the result has 
fully justified. There is no doubt that in every 
village, town, and district, Fenian societies were 
formed. A certain number of clever Americans 
and Irish- Americans had landed, and many more 
would have come over. How far people of in- 
fluence in America countenanced the movement 
can only be guessed at ; but an opinion prevails 
that, as soon as the matter became serious, Lord 
Kimberley had full information. 

One cannot suppose that men of high poli- 
tical character in America, however irritated at 
the policy of England, and however desirous to 
conciliate the Irish party in America, would 
conceal a conspiracy like the Fenian one, even 
if our own diplomatists in America were incredu- 
lous of its existence. 

Had the plans of the Fenians not been 


stopped in time the effects would have been 
tremendous. If a few members in every village 
of a county, headed by a determined man who 
had seen some service, had marched to the 
county town, seized the money in the banks and 
all arms and ammunition, they would speedily 
have been joined by some sympathizers, and by 
the idle rabble which in every place all over the 
world is ready for rapine and plunder. If the 
leaders had been thoroughly reckless and the 
police had been overpowered, they would have 
been joined by the lower middle class, partly 
from fear of losing what they had, partly from 
hope of acquiring, as owners, the land of which 
they were tenants ; and though of course these 
disorderly levies would have had no chance 
against the British army, the mischief done 
would have been incalculable. Perhaps the 
Fenian leaders trusted to some insurrectionary 
movements in English towns to occupy the 
military power, perhaps they relied on assis- 
tance from America. 



As everything which has even a remote bear- 
ing on the troubled state of Ireland is worth 
consideration, I may here remark that party 
feeling in the North became much intensified 
about the time Fenianism first created atten- 
tion. Orangemen had always taken delight 
in celebrating their victories of long ago by 
parading with bands of music, and colours flying, 
and, as a matter of course, the Eoman Catholics 
assembled on St. Patrick's Day with green flags, 
shamrocks, &c. The Executive had discouraged 
these dangerous processions, and judges had 
spoken sensibly to grand juries upon their folly 
and evil tendency, but many of these latter were 
bigoted Orangemen themselves, and considered 
demonstrations on their side perfectly loyal and 
proper, though they could easily perceive that 
noisy gatherings of the Liberal, or Eadical party, 
ought to be put down. A year before the Fenian 
outbreak, however, the two parties came into col- 
lision at Belfast ; this town was completely in 
the hands of the rioters for days, bands of men 


paraded the streets with firearms, and it was only 
the arrival of a strong force of military which put 
an end to the disturbances. The Catholic party 
got decidedly the worst of the fighting, and a 
considerable number were killed and wounded. 
I myself heard labourers at a railway station 
near Dublin, talk of the Catholics being " massa- 
cred" in the North, and that it would be neces- 
sary for those in other parts of Ireland to go 
to their assistance. Similar- remarks were made 
in many other parts of the island, and it is quite 
possible that the ill-feeling which prevailed was 
fomented by Fenian agents. 

At length it became apparent that Govern- 
ment was determined to act against the Fenians. 
Their chief journal was seized, and the editor 
and principal writers were tried. Stephens, who 
was undoubtedly the mainspring of the con- 
spiracy, was also apprehended, but made his 
escape from prison in so remarkable a manner 
that many persons believed he had made certain 
revelations, and that his evasion had been con- 

156 a s axon's remedy 

nived at. This seems hardly probable • but in 
all Irish conspiracies the number of informers is 
marvellous, and they are almost invariably the 
men who have been most trusted, and who have 
displayed considerable talent, which they pros- 
titute to the vile purpose of betraying their ac- 

Lord Wodehouse appeared to have accurate in- 
formation ; many arrests were very cleverly made ; 
and though he was ridiculed for filling the streets 
with soldiers on a Drawing-room night, to which 
I have before alluded, and for taking considerable 
precautions at other times, there is no doubt his 
course was judicious, and may very likely have 
prevented serious mischief. From many towns 
and villages people who had lately returned from 
America, and at whose houses frequent meetings 
were held, took an abrupt departure ; a good 
many tailors' and linendrapers' assistants were 
taken into custody, and handsome green- uni- 
forms and colonel's and general's commissions 
were found in their boxes ; while the suspension 


of the Habeas Corpus Act shut up for a time 
many dangerous characters and prevented the 
arrival of more. 

The advent of Lord Derby to power was not 
unpopular in Ireland, and he most judiciously 
appointed the Marquis of Abercorn and Lord 
Naas Lord-Lieutenant and Chief Secretary, both 
being Irish noblemen ; while a Eoman Catholic, 
Mr. (now Judge) Morris, became Solicitor-Gene- 
ral. It was also understood that there would be 
far greater attention paid to material improve- 
ments than under the late Whig Administration. 
In particular, the Marquis of Abercorn received 
the deputation, which expressed the almost un- 
animous wish of the country that Government 
should take the possession and management of 
all the Irish railways on equitable terms, in a 
most favourable manner. 

However, every Irish question was, perhaps 
unavoidably, postponed to the necessity of bring 
ing in that extensive measure of reform which, 
probably as much to the surprise of the Ministers 


a saxon's remedy 

themselves as to the extreme Radicals, has given 
a vote to almost every adult in England. I 
think it had a bad effect in Ireland that this 
measure was carried after a great deal of tumul- 
tuous assembling and marching in procession in 
the streets and parks of London. 

Meantime the Fenian raid in Canada was at- 
tempted, but completely failed, and many pri- 
soners were taken. The United States Govern- 
ment was considered to have behaved well in the 
matter, and at its intercession no capital punish- 
ments were inflicted. The Fenian party in 
America, however, still continued to meet 
openly, and to utter threats against the English 
Government. There was a necessity for doing 
something which would justify the constant sub- 
scriptions made amongst all classes of Irish emi- 
grants. Sympathizers were enlisted from the 
ranks of those Irish who resided in English 

It is useless to go into matters which have oc- 
curred so recently, as the curious plan to seize 


Chester Castle, which might have succeeded if 
the leaders had possessed energy at the right 
moment ; or the outbreaks in Ireland near Dublin, 
Kilmallock, and other places, where the insur- 
gents were defeated in a ridiculously easy manner 
by a few policemen. In every place neither the 
priests nor the people appeared to favour the in- 
surrectionary movement ; and the police, though 
principally Catholics, acted with remarkable 
fidelity and bravery ; when the prisoners were 
tried the jurors did their duty, and never ac- 
quitted one whose guilt was apparent; if Gro- 
vernment erred it was on the side of leniency i 
no one suffered capital punishment, and certain 
Irish papers were allowed to express sentiments 
which would have led to suppression of the 
journals in any other country in the world. 

The English nation has now been thoroughly 
aroused by the attack on the police at Manchester, 
the processions in many English and Irish towns 
consequent on the execution of the Manchester 
murderers ; and finally, by the terrible loss of life 


and property at Clerkenwell. It is apparent to 
every one that tlie utter recklessness of conse- 
quences manifested by the Fenian party in 
America has been communicated to their con- 
federates and dupes on this side of the Atlantic, 
and that to prevent the danger spreading, strict 
justice must be dealt to Ireland, at the same time 
that sedition and conspiracy are put down. 



TT is most important to the owners of property 
in Ireland, and to tlie English nation, to no- 
tice the effect produced on the prosperity of the 
country by disaffection and insurrection ; for 
though the Irish, as a nation, have not joined 
the Fenian movement, it has only been rendered 
dangerous, or indeed possible, by elements of 
dissatisfaction existing. Now in 1847, at the 
commencement of the Famine, there were about 
eight millions and a half of people in Ireland : 
in 1851 there were only six millions five hundred 
and seventy-four thousand ; about a million and 
a half had emigrated, and the rest had been cut 
off by the famine : until 1862 Ireland was more 
prosperous, and was comparatively free from dis- 


162 a saxon's remedy 

content. Thus only four hundred and eighty 
thousand emigrated between 1854 and 1862. 
About this time some high-handed evictions took 
place ; a good deal was written in English papers 
about non-interference with the rights of the 
landlord, and about the desirability of Ireland 
being converted into large grazing farms. About 
this time, too, an Act was passed empowering 
the tenant to make improvements, which were 
to be allowed him at the end of his tenancy, but 
a clause was smuggled in stating that the im« 
provements must be sanctioned by the landlord ; 
and I well remember the bitter comments that 
were made upon this ridiculous trifling with the 
hopes of tenants, by many wealthy Protestant 
farmers, as well as by their humbler Catholic 
brethren. This Act has remained a dead letter 
ever since ; and the newspaper articles to which 
I have referred obtained a wide publicity from 
the comments of popular Irish journals. 

It had been thought also that the increased 
revenue accruing from Ireland, owing to the 


extension of the Income-tax to that island and 
to the imposition of the fall duty upon whisky, 
would occasion greater outlay on harbours and 
other works of public utility. 

The tide of emigration again set in, and during 
the last five years nearly double the number of 
people have quitted Ireland per annum who de- 
parted during the previous eight years. Of 
course I shall be told that it is the natural effect 
of over-population ; and no doubt, in Ireland as 
in England, if you could take the weakly, the 
idle, the shiftless, the dissolute, and the aged, 
and send them over as a present to the Ame- 
ricans, it would be an excellent thing for the 
rates and for the general prosperity of the 
country, but unfortunately these are not the 
people who go ; they still remain, doing odd 
jobs here and there, receiving three and four 
shillings a day in harvest-time, and begging and 
loafing about the remainder of the year. The 
emigrants are fine healthy young men and 
women, sons and daughters of small farmers, 
M 2 


a saxon's remedy 

domestic servants, and the better class of la- 
bourers — the bone and sinew of the country, in 
short, that Ireland can ill spare, and who, if she 
could do so, are badly wanted in England, where 
the high price of labour of all kinds is militating 
prejudicially in the race we are running against 
foreign competition. 

Still, though there was a sensible check in the 
course of onward progress that the country was 
making, it was only when it became evident that 
Fenianism was an accomplished fact that the 
effect was really disastrous. 

English visitors who were just beginning to 
explore Ireland rushed home in haste, and during 
the last two seasons have not repeated their 
visits, which was the more unfortunate because 
those interested in Ireland's prosperity had been 
forming companies and building hotels on the 
English system, which were barely completed 
when this panic took place. Gentlemen who 
had residences in the country sought refuge in 
the towns ; and even now in the counties of 


Wicklow, Kildare, &c, many good houses are 
untenanted for the first time these thirty years. 
Many farmers cultivated their land with a view 
only to immediate profit ; others got time, or 
gave bills for their rent, remarking among them- 
selves that " Maybe in three months' time there 
might be another landlord ;? J indeed, it is com- 
monly reported that many properties in Ireland 
have been disposed of by the Fenians on exceed- 
ingly reasonable terms. One thing was peculiarly 
characteristic of the Irish peasantry. Every 
man who has a cabin in Ireland makes a heap of 
manure somehow — leaves, bog-mould, ashes, soap- 
suds, &c, supplement animal productions in a 
way which would excite Mr. Mechi's admiration; 
his employer or some farmer or other will gene- 
rally give him a bit of land on which to put this 
manure and grow a few potatoes ; he will hardly 
ever sell it, but when the Fenian craze began in 
many parts of the country these heaps of manure 
were offered for sale, the proprietors not feeling 
sure they would be able to dig the potatoes in 

166 a s axon's remedy 

case of civil war. In some districts those who had 
any money in the banks went and got it out and 
hid it. I know I was asked by many whether I 
thought the banks wouldbe safe. Evenfarms which 
were vacant were not easily Jet except at a re- 
duced rent, and in the Landed Estates Court there 
was a sensible reduction in the prices obtained. 

There was at the same time a diminution of 
confidence between man and man : farmers and 
tradesmen did not like to speak ill of the Fenians, 
lest some one in company should belong to the 
Brotherhood and denounce the offender ; on the 
other hand, not to condemn them was to run the 
chance of being reported to the police as a sus- 
picious character. Unless a man s loyalty was 
well assured he was not allowed to possess arms 
of any description ; and few Irishmen are without 
a gun, often quite as likely to burst and injure 
the owner as to kill the crows for whose destruc- 
tion he asserts it is kept. However, there has 
been a sensible increase of game throughout 
Ireland since the confiscation of fire-arms. 


Thus the retrogression in the price of land, its 
less careful cultivation, the check to trade and 
commerce, the flight to England, the Continent, 
and to the large towns of Ireland of that upper 
middle-class whose paucity in the country has of 
late years been a great disadvantage, and finally, 
the uneasy feeling among all grades of society, 
are evils which are only counterbalanced in a 
slight degree by the abolition of party proces- 
sions, and by the suppression of those virulent 
journals which were eternally preaching dis- 
content and circulating falsehoods. 

The only consolatory reflection is, that to a 
certain extent we know the difficulties of our 

Every Englishman sees that no one in Ireland 
is thoroughly satisfied with the present condition 
of the laws : even the most loyal subjects of the 
Crown confess alterations must be made. Of 
downright rebels there are few, for the Fenians 
show no respect for religion and its priests ; but 
of sympathizers with any movement which is 


aimed against the present laws there are many. 
They may not like the conspiracy, but they 
hope its existence may obtain concessions, as 
former disturbances have done. 

Now, as I say, every one in England perceiv- 
ing these things clearly, should energetically set 
to work to remedy the evil ; and if the final 
settlement of all vexed questions between Saxons 
and Celts, landlords and tenants, Protestants and 
Catholics, is brought about by the Fenian dis- 
turbances, we may after all have reason to con- 
gratulate ourselves on the present unfavourable 
condition of affairs. 






the sketch I gave of the general appearance 
of Ireland, I said something of the erroneous 
ideas which prevail as to the size of farms there. 
Many Englishmen with whom I converse are 
influenced by the belief that large farms are the 
exception. Now, of course the terms large and 
small convey different ideas to different people : a 
man may have a range of two thousand acres of 
mountain land in Connemara, and be a much 
smaller farmer than one who has fifty acres of 
rich dairy land in county Dublin : again, a Lin- 
colnshire farmer would call two hundred acres of 
first-rate land a small farm, whereas in Cheshire 
it would be considered an important holding. 
In Ireland there are many very large gra- 

170 a s axon's remedy 

ziers, for after the famine a number of small 
patches were turned into one large farm, and 
there are plenty of gentlemen paying a thousand 
a-year rent and upwards. I suppose some people 
will controvert my opinion, but experience leads 
me to assert that the class of farmers who live 
upon thirty to a hundred acres of tolerable land, 
held at a fair rent, pay as regularly, bring up 
their families as respectably, and are as indus- 
trious, sober, and prosperous men as can be found 

I think a great deal of nonsense has been 
written about the desire Irish farmers have of 
dividing their land and keeping their children at 
home. I have been in nearly every county in 
Ireland ; wherever I go I talk with all conditions 
of people, and, in nine cases out of ten, the people 
talk freely with me, for I can go into subjects 
which interest them : of course, in the neigh- 
bourhoods where I have lived and possessed pro- 
perty the history of my tenants and neighbours 
is perfectly well known to me : well, in no single 


instance have I heard of a man wishing to divide 
his farm; in fact, as soon as the boys grow up, they 
are on the look out for places of their own, or they 
are apprenticed to some trade, or they emigrate. 
I know some cases where all the sons have gone 
away, and the husband of one of the daughters is, 
by family arrangement, to succeed to the farm. 

I am afraid of being too egotistical, or I could 
name instances in my own knowledge where 
young men have left their homes for England, 
America, and Australia when really required to 
assist their fathers in the management of the 
land. Only the other day a magnificent-looking 
young fellow, who might have been a guardsman, 
recognised me in Liverpool, and reminded me 
that his father was farming some thirty or forty 
acres near Galway, and said there was not enough 
for himself and his brother, and he, being the 
best scholar, had obtained a situation in Liver- 
pool. But it is with small holdings of under ten 
acres that the political economist finds most diffi- 
culty in dealing : the question remains, is there 

172 a saxon's remedy 

an important number of people whose only means 
of livelihood is a farm of a few acres, and who 
may be termed peasant farmers ? This class 
seems to be the dread of everyone ; it has been 
the great aim of every speaker and writer who 
has advanced arguments against any measure 
giving an interest in his holding to the tenant, 
to prove that small holders of land are so nume- 
rous, so improvident, and so resolved to keep 
their children about them, that all power must 
necessarily be left in the hands of the landlord : 
if the landlords had not all the power, the English 
people are told that in a short time the popula- 
tion of Ireland will multiply beyond measure, the 
people will be obliged to live upon potatoes, each 
son and son-in-law will get his plot of land, scorn- 
ing the high wages of England and the chances 
of emigration, till another famine and another 
pestilence sweep them from the face of the earth. 

Now I must put the persons who believe such 
stuff as this into the same category as the Irish- 
men who believed the Trench purposed landing 


in Ireland three years ago. I will not deny there 
may be districts such as a writer in the Times 
mentioned on the 10th of January last: he said 
he was agent for eight hundred acres of land held 
in lots of ten acres each, at the rate of four pounds 
a holding ; the tenants paid very badly, and sub- 
let whenever they could. He did not tell us 
where this land was ; but I gathered from subse- 
quent remarks that he made as to the objection 
these tenants had to pay rent for land reclaimed 
by their own exertions, that he was relating an 
exceptional state of things. 

I might have written and said that I know a 
district where the tenants hold half acres and 
roods of land at the rate of six pounds an acre ; 
I might have added, they grow potatoes, dig 
them out early, and put in transplanted mangold, 
and that the rent is punctually paid : but this 
only relates to two or three hundred acres, and is 
an entirely exceptional case. The people who 
farm the land I am alluding to are sometimes 
fishermen, sometimes agricultural labourers ; and 

174 a saxon's remedy 

I altogether disbelieve in the existence of a large 
class in Ireland whose sole means of livelihood is 
derived from holdings of four or five pounds per 

Statistics may show that there is a great num- 
ber of very small farms there. But then near all 
towns and villages, every one who can, gets a bit 
of land; many landed proprietors and large 
farmers give to the men in their employment an 
acre or two of land in lieu of part of their wages ; 
and I feel certain that these " town parks 5 ' and 
(C grazings for a cow " are used to swell the num- 
ber of holders of small farms in Ireland. I be- 
lieve famine and emigration have as completely 
done away with those stumbling-blocks to equi- 
table registration, the Cottier-farmers of Ireland, 
who only worked on their own bits of land, as 
the police have done away with the Eapparees 
and workers of illicit stills. Now, as to the 
tenure of land in Ireland : in Ulster it is well 
known that a system of tenant-right prevails \ 
the great London companies are landlords of ex- 


tensive districts, and though, of course they are 
not immaculate, they manage their affairs in a 
very liberal spirit ; generally speaking, through- 
out this province it is understood that if a man 
pays his rent he need not fear ejectment, and if 
he wish to leave he can sell the right of occupa- 
tion to a successor. In the other three provinces 
of Ireland the land is held in various ways ; a 
good deal is owned by the Church, by colleges, 
charitable institutions, &c, and though I believe 
there is no strictly legal obligation to enable the 
tenants to obtain new leases as old ones fall in, 
yet practically they receive them on payment of 
certain renewal fines, and their interest in such 
farms is worth very considerable sums. Again, 
many people hold their land on lease of lives re- 
newable for ever; when a life drops, certain 
renewal fines are payable — sometimes considera- 
ble, sometimes only nominal — and as by an Act 
passed some years ago, the tenants can convert 
this lease of lives renewable for ever into fee-farm 
grants, in fact, into freeholds, on reasonable terms, 

176 a saxon's remedy 

these parties have no cause to complain. Again, 
a common mode of letting land was, sixty years 
ago and upwards, for three lives and a term of 
years ; when one or two lives and a good many 
years had run out negotiations ensued ; and for a 
certain sum of money paid down and an increased 
rental, the lease was renewed for new lives and a 
term of years. Many noblemen held large tracts 
of land by this tenure, as well as country gentle- 
men and large farmers ; of course the holders of 
these lands have dealt with them precisely as if 
the fee simple were their own, — have leased them, 
mortgaged them, settled incomes out of them as 
marriage portions for their daughters, and have 
considered the renewals on fair conditions as 
something they were certain to effect. But 
during the last few years the head landlords have 
shown a strong disposition to refuse renewals and 
to ignore any claim the possessor of the lease puts 
forward ; instances are common of tenants who 
have held for more than a hundred years large tracts 
of land, being refused renewals on any terms, 


and if they have not been provident, or have had to 
pay marriage portions to their sisters, under the 
will of a father, who, calculating on their getting 
a fresh term, charged the lands in this way, the 
effect will be, they will be reduced from the rank 
of country gentlemen to comparative poverty. I 
know one instance where a gentleman died twenty 
years ago, and considered he left sixty thousand 
pounds, as his large tracts of land held in this 
manner were at a moderate rental worth five 
thousand a-year more than he paid ; but as the 
head landlord will not renew, and both lives and 
years are exhausted, except on one or two farms, 
his sons, now old men, are in very reduced cir- 
cumstances ; under their management the land 
had been well farmed, and they offered to take it 
at considerably more than the Poor Law r valu- 
ation, but the slightly higher offer from another 
party was accepted. 

Of course there is a self-evident argument, that 
it is better on many accounts that there should 
be no intermediate holder between the owner and 



the cultivator of the soil ; but, as I said before, 
I am speaking of instances where individuals 
did not take land to split into small portions in 
order to re-let at a profit, but where a consi- 
derable sum was paid in ready money when the 
lease was granted years ago, or where uncul- 
tivated land has been reclaimed by great expen- 
diture of capital through a long course of years ; 
at any rate it is no consolation to men who see 
only a very old life between the position and 
affluence they now enjoy, and comparative insig- 
nificance, to be told it is for the public good that 
they should lose what they possess, and the head 
landlord should profit by all the outlay they and 
their fathers had made. Several agents of large 
properties have told me lately that the determi- 
nation of their principals to proceed on what is 
called the English system, and refuse renewals of 
leases, has made the tenants plough up old 
pasture land, let their houses and buildings go 
out of repair, sell hay and straw, and otherwise 
depart from the principles of good farming ; and 


no doubt there is an unpleasant feeling and dis- 
content on both sides in consequence. 

Of the land held on ordinary leases I need not 
say much, except to remark, that whereas in 
England and Scotland a lease for twenty-one 
years is tolerably satisfactory to a farmer, an 
Irishman considers it no time at all, and is never 
properly satisfied with it, thereby stamping with 
probability the tale of the Countess of Desmond, 
who when considerably over a hundred, grumbled 
at a renewal of the lease of some crown lands for 
twenty-one years, observing that " they might 
as well have given it her for life," Some years 
after this hearty old lady, ascending an apple- 
tree to get some fruit, met with an accident, 
which perhaps prevented her rivalling Old Parr 
in longevity. But the tenure no Irishman can 
tolerate is a yearly tenancy, and it cannot be 
denied that now more than ever, when a proper 
succession of crops and a high state of cultiva- 
tion with ample manuring is necessary to the 
successful prosecution of agriculture as a business, 

N 2 


it is utterly unfair that a man should be stopped 
in the midst of his career and forced to leave his 
home and business at the end of six months after 
his landlord has from caprice resolved to get rid 
of him. But it is now high time that I described 
the landlords of Ireland. 



A GOOD deal has lately been written about 
English-Irish proprietors in Ireland — men 
whose interest is much more bound up in their 
English property than in their possessions in the 
sister island, from which they are generally 
absentees. Mr. Bright has advocated the pur- 
chase of the Irish estates of these proprietors by 
Government, and their re-sale in moderate-sized 
farms to the present tenantry. There is much 
to be said for and against this plan; one 
large proprietor, the Duke of Devonshire, did 
lately dispose of some of his farms to the occu- 
piers, and Lord Oranmore offered to sell his pro- 
perty at twenty years' purchase. I presume the 

182 a saxon's remedy 

rents must have been raised since 1852, as I 
happen to know twenty years' purchase on the 
then rental was refused ; and I think the portion 
that was sold realized more, for the lands were 
let on very moderate terms. 

A correspondent of the Times lately stated 
that on the large estates held by English 
noblemen leases were refused, and no tenant who 
desired to leave was allowed to name his suc- 
cessor, which was what the Irish understood by 
tenant-right. The letter was a very good one, 
but far too sweeping, for on several large estates 
that I am acquainted with — and I may instance 
the Marquis of Lansdowne's and Lord Ports- 
mouth's — the right of the tenant to name a suc- 
cessor of suitable means is recognised ; and the 
interest in farms is frequently advertised to be 
sold, by kind permission of different proprietors. 
But the correspondent to whom I have referred 
is perfectly correct in saying that many large 
landholders usually residing in England, have 
lately resolutely opposed their tenants dealing in 


any kind of way with the land they occupy ; 
they have refused to renew leases when they have 
fallen in, and have almost gone out of their way 
to readjust the boundaries of farms, objecting to 
continue the widows of old tenants unless they 
had sons, and exerting every means in their 
power to make the tenants understand that they 
had no right, even by custom, to be otherwise 
than entirely dependent upon their landlords. 

The Marquis of Manyland's estate is managed 
in this way. He himself is a good kind of man, 
of average abilities and character ; he has thirty 
or forty thousand a year in England, and about 
the same in Ireland ; in the latter country he has 
a residence a good way from any town ; he keeps 
up a farm, excellently managed, and round about 
him for many miles are other large farms, where 
reside gentlemen whose ancestors lived there 
when the land was principally bog, woodland, and 
furze-brake. Now, though the land is not very 
good, it is well cultivated in large square fields ; 
and the holders are certainly not overdone with 

184 a saxon's remedy 

rent, for in the olden time, when the firstMarquis 
got possession of this estate from the old Irish 
chieftain who had taken the unlucky side in the 
Civil Wars, he had found it necessary to collect 
around him certain hard-headed, ready-handed 
north countrymen, who fought as well as they 
farmed; and they got the lands for little or 
nothing. Of course the old leases have long 
been out, but the descendants of the original 
occupiers have nothing to grumble at, except that 
they have no security that the present arrange- 
ment will be permanent. The Marquis comes 
over for a month or two now and then, and the 
papers chronicle the assembling at dinner of 
various esquires and justices of the peace — all the 
Marquis's tenants — at Manylands Castle. As the 
Marquis's property extends for a score miles or 
so, embracing many small towns and villages, you 
see of course great varieties of soil and cultiva- 
tion, but on the whole the estate is well farmed, 
the residences are good, the farm-buildings ex- 
cellent, and the tenantry prosperous ; never- 


theless, contented they are not, and Protestant 
gentlemen-farmers are as little satisfied as are 
Catholics. To explain this I must tell you how 
the estate is managed. The Marquis's agent is 
Mr. Devereux, the scion of a house as noble as 
that of the Marquis ; he is the beau-ideal of 
what foreigners would consider an English gen- 
tleman — tall, handsome in person, with quiet 
easy manners, incapable of giving willing offence 
to any one, but perfectly determined to have his 
own way. He is not a bit stuck-up, and in early 
life was put into a bank ; family influence and 
his appearance and manner got him into the 
English and Indian Assurance Company as 
managing director, with a salary and perquisites 
much greater than he enjoys under the Marquis ; 
but under his management the dividends de- 
creased, and in two or three years he had to 
resign. Mr. Howard St. Paul, once Mr. Israel 
Moses, a marine store- dealer, succeeded him, and 
the company prospered again. One of the 
company's head officials explained the failure 

186 a saxon's remedy 

of Mr. Devereux by saying he was too fond 
of the " candle-end and cheese-paring business y* 
and I take it that the same reluctance to 
sanction outlay, and the same poking into 
small matters, very useful in certain situations, 
are not judicious in all. However, there are two 
or three under-agents : Mr. Campbell, a Scotch- 
man, is nearly as powerful as Mr. Devereux ; and 
Mr. Vickers and Mr. J ohnson, both of them are 
quite gentlemen-like men, holding good farms 
and receiving fair salaries. They often act in 
business not quite agreeable to the higher au- 
thorities ; but the man who earns his money the 
best is Mr. Sternman. Sternman is a big, burly 
Northumbrian ; and I do not think he has an 
idea in his mind unconnected with the Many- 
lands Estate. Such a thing as not paying rent at 
the proper time, or acting in opposition to any of 
the rules of the estate, he regards as capital 
offences ; and he has thrown the furniture of a 
house into the street, and driven out a widow 
and her children without the least appearance of 


compunction. As for pulling down cabins which 
have been wrongfully erected by tenants for the 
houseing of labourers, he perfectly revels in it. 
In all this he is strictly doing his duty, for the 
widow and children are being maintained by beg- 
ging, and ought to be in the Union ; and the 
cabins, if allowed to stand in one place, would 
soon be erected in others, and become an intoler- 
able nuisance. Mr. Sternman never really loses 
his temper except when he hears of any subscrip- 
tion being required from the Marquis, or when 
the least reflection is cast upon any proceedings 
of that nobleman ; and subscriptions are solicited 
for every imaginable thing, reasonable and un- 
reasonable. The Marquis refers every petition 
to Mr. Devereux, and a very civil refusal is 
almost invariably the result ; but even if a quali- 
fied assent is obtained, Mr. Sternman will save 
the money if possible. For example, the in- 
habitants of a distant village on the Manylands 
property were sorely stricken with fever and 
want ; parson and priest, tradesman and farmer, 

1SS a saxon's remedy 

gave according to their means, and implored help 
from the Marquis. Mr. Devereux wrote that all 
who wished to labour should at once be set to 
work, and Mr. Sternman arrived to carry out his 
instructions. The snow lay thick on the ground, 
" and/' said Mr. Sternman, " I can't waste my 
lord's money in shovelling snow ; we must wait for 
the thaw." When the thaw came, Mr. Sternman 
would only have labourers who could do a day's 
work according to the well-fed, healthy English 
fashion; and as fever and want had left none of 
these out of regular employment, all expense to the 
noble Marquis was saved. But twenty pounds 
given to the ministers of religion to buy clothing 
and food would have been cheaply bestowed, if 
blessings in this world are of any value. 

There are two or three people besides those 
under Mr. Sternman of whose existence and 
influence perhaps even Mr. Devereux is un- 
aware. Mick Casey, Tom Carroll, and Will Mul- 
lins, at different portions of the estate, do odd 
jobs in the woods, fences, and roads, carry mes- 


sages, letters, &c, where the post does not pene- 
trate, and get many odd shillings for informa- 
tion given to under- agents of tenants selling straw 
or turnips, taking in grazing cattle, or otherwise 
infringing the rules which they have agreed to 
maintain. They also levy black mail for con- 
cealing any of these delinquencies. 

Now, practical English friends of mine, who 
have patiently followed me through descriptions 
often, I fear, tedious, I know what you will say : 
you will exclaim, "This Manylands estate is 
managed as it ought to be ; the proprietor, the 
agent, and his subordinates are what we should 
expect are best suited to manage an Irish pro- 
perty. Mr. Sternman we should be delighted to 
get to manage our own affairs, as it is easier to 
correct too great care of our interests than laxity 
in the distribution of our money ; and though 
we do not approve of the spy system, yet, for the 
interest of the tenants themselves, it is necessary 
that information should be given if the proper 
rules of husbandry are infringed, and promises 

190 a s axon's remedy 

deliberately made are as deliberately broken." I 
answer — " That is the view taken by people sit- 
ing in their easy chairs, who do not know Ire- 
land, and are reasoning on certain theories." 
Every man, woman, and child on the Manylands 
estate knows that a century or two since the 
Marquis's ancestor got the property without pay- 
ment ; certain of the tenantry trace their descent 
to the original possessor ; others know that their 
forefathers left England or Scotland to colonize 
this then wild district ; their fathers and grand- 
fathers fought hard in many bloody skirmishes 
long ago ; they are identified with the family in 
election contests before and since the Union ; and 
they have built houses, and improved their lands 
with their own money and by their own exertions. 
Many of them are quite as proud of their descent 
as any member of the House of Peers ; and when 
a batch of them gets notice to quit because a 
re-division of land is about to be made, or from 
any other cause which perhaps is not disclosed 
till a journey of many miles has been taken, 


though they see their eviction was not intended, 
they look upon it as a personal affront, and feel 
that the hold they thought they possessed on 
the land which has so long been in their families, 
is merely dependent upon the caprice of the pre- 
sent lord of the soil, or, maybe, even of his agent. 
All sorts of innovations have been made. A few 
years ago the tenants farmed as they liked ; 
leases that fell out were renewed ; now no re- 
newals take place. If hay is five pounds a ton, 
and turnips twenty-five shillings, and they part 
with ever so small a quantity, somebody carries 
the tale to head-quarters. If they oblige a friend 
in the town by taking in a horse or two to graze, 
an exaggerated account goes to the Castle, and 
they are informed that as they have more grazing 
land than they can stock, some of it had better 
be given up. True, their land is not let to them 
at rack-rent ; bat who has made it worth what it 
is? Not the Marquis of Manylands, but they 
and their fathers, who built the comfortable 
dwelling-houses, the range of farm-buildings, and 


a saxon's kemedy 

drained and improved in every way. How do 
tliey know the rent will not be raised ? and, in 
fact, if anything happens to them, do they not 
see, by what is occurring around them, that their 
sons, if they have any, will have more to pay, and if 
they have none, will it not be a great chance if their 
nearest male relation gets the farm at all ? So the 
Marquis of Manyland's tenants, though far from 
being rebellious, and though not daring to make 
open complaints, are by no means satisfied, and are 
looking forward to early legislation in their favour. 

In justice to this class of landlord, it ought to 
be added that there is no selling up of tenants 
for non-payment of rent ; they are evicted, and a 
slight increase of rent to their successors pays for 
the loss sustained. 

The Earl of Erin is totally different from the 
millionaire Marquis I have described ; his ances- 
tors were great people when those of the Marquis 
were harrying cattle from their Scotch neigh- 
bours over the Border, and occasionally suffering 
Jedburgh justice therefor. But whereas the 


estates of Manylands have kept increasing, those 
of Erin have diminished : the grandfather of the 
present possessor lessened the rent-roll consider- 
ably, and his son was a noted man in the days of 
the Eegency, when hard drinking and gaming, 
recklessness, and devilry of all kinds, were the 
distinguishing characteristics of Irish noblemen. 
He was a noted member of the Hell-fire Club, 
backed Buck "Whaley when he jumped over the 
mail coach, and used to relate how, when a mere 
boy, he lost money to Egalite Orleans. He sold 
everything he could sell, and finding it better 
business to let his land at a low rent for a long 
term of years on condition of getting a fine than 
to raise what he wanted from the Jews, he leased 
away most of the broad lands of Erin to the 
few country gentlemen who were of a saving 
turn — and, in fact, to any one who had money to 
give him. "When the present Earl came of age 
he was persuaded by his father to join in selling 
some of the family property, and he saw a good 
deal of London life, but declining to go on with 


194 a saxon's remedy 

the disentailing process, lie became on bad terms 
with his father, and, as Lord Cong, had hard 
work to keep his head above water. Though a 
very sharp fellow, no drinker, a capital judge of 
a horse, and one of the best riders of the day, he 
suffered the invariable pigeoning every young 
man of family or fortune seems doomed to un- 
dergo, and which in his day even Lord Greorge 
Bentinck could not escape. Unlike that Napo- 
leon of bettors, the pillaging endured by the 
Irishman did not induce him to register a vow 
that the time should come when he would not 
leave a betting man with a coat to his back — as 
the descendant of William the Third's Dutch 
favourite is reported to have sworn — but it in- 
duced him to give up any kind of plunging, and 
he became notorious for bringing off little cer- 
tainties. Fifty pounds was his measure for 
everything — he never risked more in any way ; 
and though, of course, he liked to win a larger 
sum, he was quite satisfied if he gained that 
amount. He never even gave more for a horse, 


and it was wonderful what bargains he often got, 
and what coups he accomplished with his modest 

At length the old Earl — who possessed one of 
those extraordinary constitutions the reckless old 
debauchees of the Regent's time seem to have 
been gifted with — took his departure for another 
sphere, and the subject of our present sketch 
reigned in his stead. For some time it was very 
doubtful if he could save any of the family 
estate, and the famine and Encumbered Estates 
Court were very nearly engulfing him for the sins 
of his fathers, as they submerged many another. 

However, he had married and gained some 
fortune with his wife ; he had great tact, 
energy, and economy; and he weathered the 
storm. When things began to mend, the holders 
of the leases given by his father came to see 
about renewals ; only ten or twenty years were 
left in many instances, and the lives were run out 
or were very old. Now, the Earl of Erin would 
be more than a man if he had amiable feelings 
o 2 


a s axon's remedy 

towards these gentlemen. Here they were, 
holding land worth from thirty shillings to three 
pounds an acre — for the Erin estate is very 
fertile — at less than half that price; and here 
was he, with only a few thousands a year, instead 
of possessing a handsome income — for double the 
present rent on twenty or thirty thousand acres 
would quadruple his annual receipts, inasmuch 
as there would be no mortgages, annuities, &c, 
to come off the increased rental. 

The leaseholders reminded his lordship that 
their outlay had vastly added to the value of the 
land, but his lordship did not see the force of the 
argument ; they had doubtless paid money to his 
father, but it had done him no good. Their 
fathers had made the best bargain they could, 
and he, the Earl, meant to do the same with 
them. Time rolled on and leases fell in ; if the 
tenants in possession will give as much as any 
one else they can have a twenty-one years 5 lease. 
But the Earl is something more than a hard 
bargainer : he gets the value of the land to the 


last sixpence, and has been so accustomed to 
dodges and deceptions of every kind that he 
sometimes even overreaches himself. He does 
so to some extent with the tenants whose leases 
are unexpired ; many of them would give the full 
worth of their holdings at a fair valuation, but 
the Earl rejects every opinion save his own; in 
consequence the tenants have it out of the land, 
and let buildings, which have cost thousands, fall 
into rapid decay. 

The Earl of Erin is a sample of a class of what 
may be termed old Irish proprietors, who have 
suffered heavily through the misconduct of others, 
and are suspicious and disinclined to oblige 
tenants who, they think, are in too favourable a 
position. This class of landlords cares nothing 
about farming on scientific principles, and very 
little about improvements ; those who compose 
it put no restrictive clauses in leases, and so that 
a tenant pays a high rent he may sell anything 
he pleases, and farm in any way he likes. As for 
helping in draining or improvement, they would 

3 98 a s axon's remedy 

never dream of assisting a tenant to do that ; 
and though they have some respect for a good 
large stone-bnilt barn, any proposal that they 
should supply timber and slates would be very 
decidedly rejected. 

Englishmen would imagine that Lord Erin 
would be more unpopular than the Marquis of 
Manylands, but the contrary is the case. Lord 
Erin is a Catholic, a good-natured fellow, ready 
to shake hands with anybody, and chat about 
anything : his tenantry may take a long day for 
the rent, or give bills, and the agent is sure to 
be a gentleman who only cares for one thing — 
namely, that more than a year's rent is not left 
unpaid. If the tenant cannot come to book, of 
coarse he must give way to some one else ; but 
as any arrangement is winked at which secures 
the amount owing to the landlord, the defaulter 
can generally find some one to stand in his shoes 
and give him fifty pounds to try his luck with 
elsewhere. At the same time, one can see that 
the interference of the Legislature might be of 


advantage to the true interests of landlords like 
the Earl of Erin, his tenants who are holding the 
fag-ends of leases, and the cause of good hus- 
bandry generally. 

Lord Screw owes his title to clever bargaining 
at the time of the Union : his grandfather hap- 
pened to have a pocket borough at that period, 
and being universally known as a dead hand at 
securing the uttermost farthing for anything he 
had to sell, a good many patriots of that day 
arranged for their votes through him. For his 
own share he received thirty thousand pounds 
and an Irish peerage, and did pretty well for 
those who had entrusted their interests to him. 
He then did all he could for his numerous rela- 
tions ; and as they were all great " Church and 
King" people, and, moreover, possessed an apti- 
tude for business, very uncommon in Ireland, 
they rapidly rose in the world, and were the pro- 
genitors of a numerous race of landlords, speci- 
mens of which may be found in almost every 

200 a saxon's remedy 

When the Encumbered Estates Court first 
commenced operations the Screws were enabled 
to be large purchasers, for they were exceedingly 
saving, and estates were sold cheap. They had 
also other advantages: the Screws, though cer- 
tainly not an old or illustrious family, looked 
down with contempt upon trade ; they were and 
are nothing in the world of letters, and have 
never made a figure in the learned professions 
of law or physic; but in many a snug living 
you will find a Screw, and wherever there is a 
good sinecure at the disposal of Government, the 
family interest is brought to bear in order to 
obtain it for one of themselves. But it is as 
agents they shine conspicuously. I shall else- 
where describe agents generally, so shall only 
remark here that though, of course, a good deal 
depends upon the landlords, yet the Screws' 
popularity among them is attributable as much 
to their skill in getting the utmost value from 
the tenants as for the correctness of their ac- 
counts. Thus the Screws possessed great facili- 


ties for knowing what was cheap, and many of 
them who were tenants or small proprietors 
before 1848 are now grand jurymen and even 

Lord Screw and all the family are Churchmen 
of the Irish-Protestant type — that is, they have 
a strong touch of the Puritan in their dislike of 
amusements and gaieties of all kinds ; they look 
upon Roman Catholics, and especially upon 
priests, in a w r ay few Englishmen can un- 
derstand : I am neither exaggerating nor ro- 
mancing when I say that they look upon every 
Catholic as a rebel at heart, and upon every 
priest as a fomentor of disloyalty and a secret 
indulger in numerous vices. I have heard these 
sentiments proclaimed over and over again, and 
when I first went to Ireland I was told I should 
soon find all this out for myself. 

It follows as a matter of course that Lord Screw 
has no feeling whatever for his tenantry, or at least 
for such of them as are Catholics ; with all men he 
is a close, hard bargainer, but when those beneath 

202 a saxon's remedy 

Mm are not of his way of thinking in religious 
matters, he views them as the Egyptians did 
the Israelites and the Spartans did the Helots: 
to him they are aliens in race, aliens in reli- 
gion — he keeps them on the land as a means of 
producing money, grudging them anything more 
than a mere existence, and if it seems to him 
that it would be more profitable to turn small 
farms into large ones, he will clear the tenantry 
off his estate with no more compunction than is 
felt by an Australian settler in slaughtering 
kangaroos ; nay, sometimes contrary to his own 
interest he will unroof a whole village because 
he has a dispute with the priest about the parish 

As I said before, do not think I exaggerate — 
this has been done. In another instance some 
scores of poor creatures were evicted because, not 
knowing English well, some of them had mis- 
taken the directions of their landlord as to the 
place of meeting, not to pay rent, but to offer 
him respect. 


Xext to the Fenians I consider the Screws the 
most dangerous people in Ireland, because they 
are utterly impracticable, and as they hate so 
they are hated. Throughout Ireland you never 
hear of landlords like the Marquis and the Earl 
being injured or insulted, and if there were a 
general rising to-morrow I think their lives 
would be safe ; but one of the incentives to rise 
would be to avenge themselves on tyrants like 
the Screws, who had dealt out wrongs and injus- 
tice during a series of years. 

Of the other types of Irish landlords I shall 
not say much : some societies, some English and 
Scotch gentlemen, have purchased land, and Irish 
merchants and solicitors have also taken advan- 
tage of the division of estates into moderate- 
sized farms ; numbers of Irish farmers have 
fortunately been enabled to become their own 
landlords, and when such has been the case, as 
far as my experience goes, I should say that the 
style of husbandry has been improved, and the 
new proprietor has become, what is still greatly 

204 a saxon's remedy 

wanted in Ireland, a member of an independent 
middle-class. Something lias been lately said 
about the new Irish proprietors of the trading 
class making very extortionate landlords. I fear 
small proprietors who do not farm their own 
land as a rule let their land as high as possible ; 
Protestants and Catholics, poor gentlemen and 
small tradesmen, act just the same in getting all 
they can for what they have to let : you cannot 
make a law to compel any man to take two pounds 
an acre for what a tenant is willing to give two 
pounds ten shillings. Two or three years ago 
an embarrassed Catholic gentleman sold his 
estate with the secret understanding that every 
tenant should be cleared off before possession 
was given ; he assured his tenants they would all 
be allowed to remain, and then when the crops 
were in served them all with notice to quit. For- 
tunately his agent refused to be a party to this in- 
justice, and the tenants obtained heavy damages. 
Not long since, on board the Leinster, a poor gen- 
tleman and I discoursed upon tenant-right : he 


told me that his father had lately half-promised 
for him to renew a lease when it fell in. The 
tenant had built a very fine house and offices on 
the property ; he remarked — " If I give the lease 
I shall value this house and offices in charging 
the increased rent." Now, this is certainly 
" reaping where you did now sow/ 5 and I must 
again impress upon my English friends that 
none of the landlords, except in some few in- 
stances, improve property themselves. What 
building, fencing, draining, limeing, and manur- 
ing, &c, is done by the tenant he expects to have 
some permanent advantage in ; he claims it as a 
right that the extra value of the land shall 
belong to him, and that his landlord shall not 
raise his rent because his industry and capital 
have made it worth more. 




^HE rich gentlemen farmers of Ireland are 
seldom tenants in the English, sense of the 
term. I hope it will not be forgotten that few 
properties in Ireland are entirely free from head- 
rent, payable to somebody. Every now and 
then these head-rents are to be disposed of, and 
it occasionally happens that some sharp-witted 
tenant on an estate gets hold of the fee simple, 
which may perhaps be worth only a thousand 
pounds, although the income may be three 
thousand a year, and he thus becomes his land- 
lord's head landlord, and has the right of hunt- 
ing, shooting, &c, over the estate. I will explain 
my meaning by a recent case : — A gentleman I 


will call Fitzgerald liad landed property pro- 
ducing three thousand a year ; it was held in 
fee-farm grant — that is, for ever — subject to the 
payment of 120/. a year to a gentleman I will 
call O'Brien, who had the right of sporting in all 
shapes, and royalties over minerals, &c. All the 
O'Brien property was for sale. One of Mr. 
Fitzgerald's tenants had a lease which would 
terminate in a few years, and landlord and tenant 
were on bad terms. Mr. Fitzgerald offered 
twenty-five years' purchase, and said he would 
give no more for the 120/. per annum chargeable 
on his estate. The tenant with whom he was 
disputing went to the agent who had the con- 
duct of the sale, made his bargain at thirty 
years' purchase, and can, without telling an 
untruth, call himself the owner of the Fitz- 
gerald estate, and can shoot over it, fish in the 
river, &c. 

These things are terribly puzzling to English 
people ; but it is well to bear the fact in mind 
that many of the landlords are in truth only 


a s axon's remedy 

tenants for ever at very low rents. Now, many of 
these gentlemen are very extensive farmers, graz- 
ing being what they principally affect ; and, as 
a general rule, they cannot be turned out of their 
holdings, which they have for ever at a few 
shillings an acre. They have introduced short- 
horn cattle, Leicesters and Cotswold sheep, and 
the best Yorkshire breed of pigs, so that there is 
very little difference between English and Irish 
grazing farms. Still, there are large farmers of 
this class who graze extensively, and export tons 
of butter, who are anxiously looking for the 
question of tenant-right to be settled, as they 
hold at will or on leases which will soon termi- 
nate. As a body, this class of gentlemen farmers 
is very rich, for they spend nothing in comparison 
with their income ; I have one in my mind's eye 
now, a corpulent little gentleman, highly con- 
nected, and who had had a good education. He 
was putting by thousands a year, but lived in a 
manner no second-class English tradesman would 
consent to do : he had a fine house, of which 



the doors, windows, &c, had not been painted 
for years. You could hardly tell the original 
colour of the paper on the walls ; and the roof 
was in such bad condition that the rain frequently 
came through. Two or three dirty drabs of women 
servants were running about, and at them, the 
lady of the house, and the children, the master 
swore continually. He had several handsome 
old carriages, in which the numerous hens used 
to lay, but which were occasionally cleaned and 
brought out in order to honour the funerals of 
neighbouring country gentlemen; his favourite 
vehicle, however, was a jaunting-car, in which he 
drove an ungroomed horse at almost railwajr 
speed — for all his nags had the gift of going — 
and he occasionally got long prices for them. 

During his drives to the neighbouring town he 
would often ask half a dozen gentlemen to dinner, 
and regale them on part of a sheep killed only 
an hour before, and a lump of hung beef, washed 
down by the best Clicquot and some of Euther- 
ford's old Madeira. His farming was on a par 


210 a saxon's remedy 

with liis housekeeping ; the fences grew wild and 
encroached on the land, which was never half 
stocked, and his sheep were always straggling 
over the country and introducing the scab — from 
which his flocks were seldom entirely free — 
among his neighbours'. But when he died, he 
left a hundred thousand pounds in personal pro- 
perty. A few years' time, however, has made a 
great difference; many of these gentlemen are 
as careful in the management of their lands, and 
in selecting good crosses for their cattle and sheep, 
as is the same class in England ; but unfortu- 
nately they do not travel much, know little or 
nothing of polite literature, have very strong 
-prejudices, and, caring little for social pleasures, do 
not impress strangers and foreigners so agreeably 
as the " fine old Irish gentleman" of fifty years 
ago, whose manners are represented to have been a 
combination of the best French and English types. 

If you buy land in Ireland — and you may do 
worse things with your money — may the Lord 
protect you from having poor gentlemen as 


tenants, Catholic or Protestant. I had a poor 
Catholic gentleman tenant, as jovial, pleasant a 
fellow as ever began bragging in mixed company 
of the money he had in his pocket, and ended by 
throwing the notes into the fire to show how 
little he cared for the filthy lucre. In this in- 
stance they were recovered only half consumed, 
but they never did me any good ; and after some 
years of underlettings, broken promises, and re- 
turned bills, protracted litigation finally rid me 
of my unprofitable tenant. The Protestant 
gentleman who had some land of mine used to 
sell all the hay and straw, never dreamt of grow- 
ing green crops or stall-feeding, and after actually 
reaping five corn crops in succession from some 
of the land, threw up his lease, which I was glad 
to take off his hands, though of course it cost me 
dear to put the run-out land into anything like 
good condition again. 

I did not rush into print and proclaim that all 
Irishmen would underlet or exhaust their farms, 
but I am sure the vagaries of poor gentlemen 
p 2 

212 a saxon's remedy 

must be guarded against by stringent covenants 
in their leases. 

To have an Irish peerage is a great misfor- 
tune ; the possessor has generally no seat in the 
House of Lords, and cannot be elected to the 
House of Commons for any Irish borough or 
county; he is often ludicrously poor in com- 
parison with his assumption of dignity, and if 
any of his remote connexions go into any kind 
of trade a slur is considered to be cast on the 
family escutcheon. When a man has only three 
or four hundred a year, and possesses five or six 
sons, it is impossible he can put them all in pro- 
fessions, pinch and screw how he may ; and you, 
my English friends, have no idea how highly 
connected Irish families — Lord Ballytestrin's 
nephews and Lord Cape Clear's cousins — can 
pinch and screw to get commissions, &c, for 
their sons. Those who are not thus provided 
for strive to obtain farms ; in this they are gene- 
rally successful ; they always go in for a lease, 
and always fight against the covenants about 


sub-letting, selling hay and straw, &c, which are 
absolutely necessary for a landlord's protection : 
most of them infinitely prefer making a hundred 
a year profit by sub-letting to farming themselves, 
and if they can retain a cottage and a few acres 
of grass land for a cow and a couple of horses, 
they will make twenty or thirty pounds yearly 
by horse-dealing, and thus get along somehow. 

Others make an arrangement with the dairy- 
man, receiving so much per cow; but the vast 
majority of these poor gentlemen run the land 
out, fall into arrears with their rent, and are at 
last absorbed into Australia or New Zealand. 
Of their more fortunate brethren whom we meet 
in England as officers, clergymen, and doctors, 
and who generally get on, and always marry 
girls with money, it is superfluous to speak. I 
shall not soon forget the elongated countenance 
of an English friend of mine whose daughter 
had become engaged to a gallant officer related 
to no end of Irish aristocracy, when he returned 
from Ireland after visiting the family mansion 

214 a s axon's remedy 

of the bridegroom elect. He described it to me 
as having no upstairs apartments, and being 
very like a long pigstye ; however, the lady had 
money enough for both, and a grand house has 
been erected. Of course occasional instances 
occur where a poor gentleman accepts his posi- 
tion, and farms his land steadily and well ; when 
that is the case, he usually gets on and becomes 
a useful member of society, but, as a rule, much 
of the bad farming in Ireland is attributable to 
the class I have endeavoured to describe. 

I now come to the "snug" farmers: men 
holding from sixty to three hundred acres Irish, 
five Irish making eight statute acres. Now, it 
appears to me that all the writers on both sides of 
the question, never consider these people at all ; 
yet they are the farmers of Ireland par excellence. 
Legislation may take in the cottier class, to 
which I will allude presently ; but surely it is 
tenant-farmers who require to possess a certain 
amount of capital that we ought principally to 
study. Now these men are, in intelligence and 


knowledge of their business, much the same as 
English farmers were twenty years ago ; they 
are not so neat about their farmyards, not so 
regular in times of feeding their animals, and in 
providing shelter for them as they ought ; they 
will not spend enough money in artificial manure, 
nor in linseed-cake, nor in agricultural imple- 
ments, nor will they even in labourers 5 wages ; but 
I noticed all this in many parts of England twenty 
years since, and there is great improvement in 
Ireland of late years. There is a reason why these 
things are not done, namely, that they are afraid 
of their rents being raised. I do not think the 
land in Ireland is let at too high a rate, and I 
altogether disagree with the extraordinary theory 
that land let on long leases deteriorates in con- 
dition; in fact, I know many farms where 
tenants did no good till the landlords offered to 
give long leases, when farmers with capital came 
forward, put the land in proper condition, and 
made plenty of money. People who are not 
farmers are not aware that it takes a great deal 

216 a saxon's remedy 

of money to put exhausted land into good con- 
dition; but ten or twelve years of ample ma- 
nuring, feeding sheep with cake and grain, deep 
ploughing, and thorough cleansing from weeds, 
will more than double the value of land ; in fact, 
after completely improving land, I have myself 
sold for double what I gave. Of course you 
cannot expect men to keep land in this condition 
when they are liable to be turned out in six 
months. You must also recollect that, albeit 
on the east coast of Ireland the climate though 
warmer is not moister than many parts of Eng- 
land, yet in the middle, south, and west it is 
far more so ; and though grass and green crops 
grow luxuriantly, weeds can hardly be kept 
down, and corn is much more difficult to save ; 
even when apparently dry, it is dangerous to put 
hay and corn in large stacks. I did not believe 
this till experience convinced me of the fact, and 
this accounts for some — though of course not 
all — of the delay in housing crops and the 
growth of thistles, &c, which shock English 


agriculturists. There is a tale of an old farmer 
who was blind, going with his son to take a 
farm : in the middle of one of the fields he 
wished to get off his horse, and told his son to 
tie the animal to a thistle ; the young man said 
there were none big enough to hold him, upon 
which the father said they would ride back again 
for the land must be poor. Those who know the 
difficulty of eradicating thistles and the size to 
which they grow on deep, rich soil, will under- 
stand the blind man's objection. 

It is also, in many parts of Ireland, impossible 
to get weeding done at the same price as in Eng- 
land ; there are no gangs of children trained to 
work of that kind, and in harvest-time the wages 
of adults approximates to the cost in England. 
Nevertheless, making all these allowances, the 
11 snug farmers " have a great deal to learn, and 
will not get enough labour at the proper time, 
nor be sufficiently in advance of their work ; 
those who are dairymen also, are too careless 
about housing their cows and making their 


a saxon's remedy 

butter : still they are the class which require 
peculiar consideration; I believe I know them 
thoroughly, and I can speak highly of their 
integrity, promptitude in paying their rent, and 
excellence of behaviour in every relation of life : 
as a body, indeed, they carry courtesy almost to 
the verge of servility. Men in the same position 
of life in England and with the same education 
would not stand with their hats off when address- 
ing a gentleman very little superior in education 
and with less property. I ought perhaps to men- 
tion that some of those I am acquainted with in 
the class of snug farmers, are gentlemen of good 
education and fair standing in society, but who 
have not succeeded in, or had a distaste for, the 
professions or trades to which they were brought 
up, and, like sensible men, have devoted their ener- 
gies to farming. These gentlemen have bought 
steam threshing-machines, and other less expen- 
sive adjuncts to scientific husbandry ; they have 
been commended and their farms shown as " model 
ones/' but leases have been persistently refused. 


I can assure you that these men, generally Pro- 
testants, always ultra loyal, are as anxious for 
legislation in their favour as any Catholic in 
Ireland. One piece of advice, however, I must 
give them, namely, to be more business-like in 
keeping their banking accounts straight ; many of 
them, as well as gentlemen of property, keep no 
banking accounts at all, but go to their salesmaster 
or cornfactor when they either want money or 
have any in hand ; this of course throws them 
into the power of these men of business — very 
good fellows in their way, and often very wealthy, 
but who would be angels if they did not occa- 
sionally take advantage of their position. In 
cases I have known, a farmer once indebted 
rather increases than diminishes his liability, and 
it is the same with banks : I have known gentle- 
men with several thousands a year let bills come 
back, allow balances to stand against them, and 
huckster in such a way about interests and com- 
mission as to altogether forfeit their position as 
men of probity and business. There are several 

220 a saxon's remedy 

very good and safe banks in Ireland, but those 
established would be much more liberal in making 
advances, and would open many more branches, if 
the agricultural interests generally would not 
grudge them their fair profits, and would make 
up their minds punctually to meet their mone- 
tary engagements. 

I have already stated that I do not believe in 
the existence of a large class in Ireland living 
entirely by the produce of very small farms. I 
have also said that professional men and trades- 
men in towns are all anxious to obtain what are 
called town parks, and many of them pay com- 
paratively high rents for two or three acres of 
land ; they generally farm highly, and are very 
desirable tenants. There are also many labour- 
ing men who manage to get a little land, which 
is a great assistance in providing milk and pota- 
toes for their families ; the only inconvenience 
connected with this is, that the labourer occa- 
sionally stays away from his master's crops at a 
busy season because his own require attention. 


In the west and the south there are districts 
where men have a few acres of reclaimed land, 
and considerable grazing over bog and mountain : 
they often do well, but grumble at their rent, 
which is usually very moderate, on the principle 
that if they appear satisfied it would probably be 
raised. I see no reason why an industrious 
family should not do well on five or six acres of 
land, but I am quite willing to admit that my 
own experience shows that in a bad season it is 
very difficult to get the rent. I should like to 
see the experiment tried of cultivating the waste 
lands of Ireland, in farms of a moderate extent ; 
I believe the capital would easily be found, but I 
am assured the owners would not give long 
leases on reasonable terms. I think convict 
labour might be profitably employed in this way. 
The commons of Lusk, about eleven miles from 
Dublin, have been thus recently reclaimed ; I 
believe they are now to be sold, and I have no 
doubt they will fetch forty to fifty pounds per 
acre. Great men both in England and Ireland 


a saxon's remedy 

have a perfect antipathy to poor men acquiring a 
hit of land. I remember, when I was a boy, my 
father giving a piece of waste land to a poor man, 
who, in course of time, made it quite a fertile 
spot ; other gentlemen in the neighbourhood had 
done the same with bits of ground adjoining 
their property. Many years rolled away, and 
boys were middle-aged men when I revisited my 
old neighbourhood; I found the lord of the manor 
had got an Enclosure Act passed, and had swooped 
down upon those who had reclaimed these little 
plots : some had been ruined by law costs, the 
rest^alarmed, agreed to pay rent for their little 
holdings. I interceded for one poor old fellow, 
whose cottage, which had cost fifty pounds, had 
been ruthlessly pulled down ; but I was told he 
had been impertinent, and no leniency could be 
shown. He died soon after, reduced to the 
workhouse entirely owing to his misfortunes : he 
preceded to the other world by only a short space 
of time the lord of the manor, who, as one of 
England's richest noblemen, had enjoyed all the 



desiderata of this life, but I have often wondered 
if in the next he found himself disagreeably near 
to King Ahab, and whether, in comparing expe- 
riences with that monarch, he had to admit pride, 
wilfulness, and covetousness had been to him as 
another J ezebel in prompting him to injustice. 

Note. — Since writing the above, a letter in the Times of 
February 7th, signed "D.," states that there are three hun- 
dred thousand farms in Ireland valued to the Poor Rate under 
ten pounds per annum. At first I noticed several statements 
so very improbable that I was inclined to pay no more atten- 
tion to this letter than to the numerous epistles continually 
appearing in English papers giving a most prejudiced and 
one-sided view of the landlord and tenant question ; or de- 
scribing a state of things perfectly exceptional in their charac- 
ter. For example, D. says that u occupiers of land of fifty 
pounds value per annum employ no labour. " Now, as I 
know some land let at three-halfpence an acre and some other 
at eight pounds, one is obliged to guess at the number of acres 
fifty pound valuation represents. Forty to sixty acres of 
fair good land would be represented by a fifty pound valua- 
tion ; now D. cannot mean that a farm of this size could be 
worked by one pair of hands, unless it were entirely kept for 
grazing. A little further on he says, with singular inconsis- 
tency, that men farming fifty acres of land would probably be 
able to buy land without the assistance from the State that Mr. 
Bright recommends. These statements seem absurd enough, 


a s axon's remedy 

but, strange to say, may be perfectly true in certain districts 
in Ireland. I believe D. writes from Donegal, where some 
curious customs prevail — right of free pasturage among 
others, opposition to which in several instances has occasioned 
some terrible crimes ; thus men paying but little rent may in 
reality be considerable farmers, and black cattle, ponies, and 
sheep can be looked after at little expense of labour. I 
have no doubt farmers of this class in Donegal might be 
able to find a thousand pounds, or even two, if necessary. 
I consider, therefore, it is advisable to notice D.'s state- 
ment, that there are in Ireland three hundred thousand 
tenants holding farms under ten pounds per annum Poor 
Law valuation. Of course, D.'s object is to prove that there 
are so many small farms that it would be bad policy to 
give tenants who are wretchedly poor a right to their hold- 
ings, and that it would be far better to encourage them 
to emigrate. I say, if there are still districts where pauper 
tenants struggle to support existence on two or three acres 
of land, the sooner emigration or good wages elsewhere 
thins the number, the better ; but as I know small tenants 
of my own hold land from other landlords, while I myself, 
and plenty of richer men, are, for matters of convenience, 
tenants of pieces of land of under ten pounds per annum 
valuation, and as in an estate of which I am one of the 
trustees, there are dozens of these little holdings held by 
tradesmen, &c, which is universally the case near every 
small town ; and as a mountain run of ten pounds per 
annum valuation will in many places give an active man a 
good livelihood, I think D.'s three hundred thousand little 
farms (nearly a third of which he says are in three counties), 
are easily acccounted for in the way I describe. 



account of the agriculture of Ireland would 

be complete without a chapter devoted to 
the agents, through whom almost all rentals are 
received. I suppose fifty years since they must 
have been a set of unmitigated scoundrels, for 
there is no novel or play with which I am 
acquainted where the agent is not an oppressor 
and a cheat. Miss Edgeworth describes several ; 
Carleton portrays others ; and poor Power, 
Barney Williams, and Boucicault, in every real 
Irish play, bring the agent to condign and de- 
served punishment. Now, though, like Sir 
"Walter Scott, I occasionally imagine I must 
have been alive a century or so ago, I am still 
not quite the age to which the Countess of 


a saxon's remedy 

Desmond attained — to say nothing of Old Parr — 
and thus cannot confirm or contradict Miss 
Edgeworth's descriptions ; yet in the present 
day agents are no more like what novelists and 
dramatists represent them, than Earl Eussell re- 
sembles the small individual who some time back 
called at a little public-house, and announcing 
he had a message from Her Majesty, hired a 
horse and gig, and pronouncing an eulogium on 
the liquor, took down an assortment for con- 
sumption at Windsor Castle. 

I have already endeavoured to describe the 
agent of the Marquis of Manylands, Mr. 
Devereux, and I have said something of the 
Screw family, who find that calling congenial to 
their dispositions ; they, and the agents of all 
men of property in Ireland I have ever met, are 
gentlemen in manners and position ; they are 
generally grand jurors and justices of the peace ; 
in many instances, too, they hold large farms, 
and take pains to improve the breed of cattle 
and sheep ; occasionally, however, they make a 


business of agencies, take as many as they can 
get, and come down for two days every year to 
collect rents, never looking at the land, nor in- 
vestigating the requirements of tenants, nor 
seeing if they are doing justice to their land. I 
consider this a serious evil to both landlords and 
tenants. It is bad enough when the landlord is 
an absentee, but when the agent also lives in 
England, or a hundred miles from the property 
he is supposed to superintend, the bad effect is 

The Dublin papers generally contain ad- 
vertisements from persons offering to be agents, 
and to advance money, &c. If a person does 
nothing but actually receive the rents, being an 
agent is a profitable affair, for 5 per cent, is 
charged ; and if the agent is a solicitor, which is 
often the case, there is something to be made 
out of leases and other business connected with 
the estate, and with the tenantry, who have 
occasionally little matters of their own to settle. 
However, from what I have seen of agents I 
Q 2 


should say they are disposed to assist the tenantry 
in obtaining leases ; and though of course it is 
their interest, being paid by a percentage, to 
increase rents, yet they always advocate a liberal 
policy. Their fault, as a body, is a desire to get 
their money too easily, and not to sufficiently 
investigate the state of the farms whose rents 
they collect. But Parliament might do worse 
than take the opinion of half a dozen large 
agents as to what would be most expedient to 
enact for the settlement of the great landlord and 
tenant question. 



~j~ OUGHT to say a few words about solicitors 
and physicians, &c. As to the Bar, it 
is certainly not inferior to that of any other 
country; and as many of our own judges 
and leading counsel are Irishmen, I need say 
nothing about them — and, indeed, not much 
concerning solicitors. Of course, in large towns 
there are a good many of the latter doing a fair 
business ; but in the country, solicitors have now 
a hard time of it. In England, we consider a 
solicitor a gentleman, and he very often is one 
in manner, attainments, &c. Now in Ireland he 
is not a whit inferior to his English brother in 
education and conduct, but for some reason or 
other he does not stand so high, even in his own 


a saxon's remedy 

estimation ; and I have been surprised to see in 
legal proceedings a party to an action described 
as having been an attorney. Considering an 
attorney prepared the affidavit, and that the 
plaintiff's former profession was only mentioned 
to create prejudice, this was a very significant 
fact. I am very glad to see that a solicitor in 
Dublin has recently been knighted, and that 
efforts are being made to raise the social status 
of solicitors. 

It is worthy of remark, that in Ireland the 
term lawyer means a barrister, in England a 
solicitor. When I first went to Ireland, if I 
said, "I met a gentleman, Mr. So-and-so," I 
used to be corrected by some one present saying, 
" Oh ! he's an attorney y and on more than one 
occasion, country gentlemen have remonstrated 
with me for being intimate with solicitors of 
high character, fair property, and an education 
decidedly superior to my Mentor's. Pleasant 
people whom I have met have avoided disclosing 
their profession till the last moment, and when 



at parting they have owned they were " poor 
devils of solicitors/' have evidently expected I 
should be very much shocked. The general 
character of these gentlemen in Ireland is dis- 
tinguished by a honhomie very different to their 
English brethren. Those in country places are 
generally farmers, and hardly ever belong to the 
class of country gentlemen. Of course, they had 
rather people went to law than settled their dif- 
ferences, but they are always willing to save 
people useless expense which does not go into 
their pockets ; and they are almost always great 
friends of the farmers, and in favour of any 
alteration in the laws for their benefit. 

The medical profession consists of physicians — 
who are usually surgeons — and apothecaries, 
who are also chemists and druggists. A great 
number of the younger sons of good families 
become physicians, and have often a hardish 
time of it ; and in every town and district there 
is a dispensary doctor, who receives about a 
hundred a year, for which he has to visit every 

232 a saxon's remedy 

one who is ill in a circuit of five or six miles 
who cannot afford to pay. He has not to find 
medicine, &c, but as one or two horses and a 
man must be kept, the salary is too small. It 
is considered infra dig., too, for him to charge 
less than a pound ; consequently, many of those 
who could afford to pay five shillings a visit get 
a friendly guardian to give them a ticket com- 
pelling the attendance of the dispensary doctor, 
and thus get cured gratuitously. Many re- 
spectable persons also call in the apothecaries, 
thus the position of a country physician of talent 
and attainments is often a most painful one. I 
have frequently advised them to announce that 
they will charge less, and prevent the business 
going to the apothecaries, imitating their English 
brethren; but esprit de corps prevents this. And 
some who have endeavoured to prove that the 
patients they were ordered to attend gratuitously 
were persons perfectly well able to pay, have 
made implacable enemies of the guardians, a por- 
tion of whom are men of influence, who expect 


their servants and tenantry to be cured without 
remuneration. The dispensary doctors have, I 
believe, no power to order necessaries even in 
cases of extreme destitution ; and the plan of 
dispensary attendance, which in theory is ex- 
cellent, requires great emendation in practice. 

Every one admits that Ireland suffers from 
want of manufactures ; and I have taken great 
pains to ascertain why cotton-mills have not been 
more generally established. There is abundance 
of water-power, and no employment for the 
women and children except field-work. The 
raw material is now as low as before the American 
war ; and on the eastern coast, nearest Lanca- 
shire, the experiment is well worth trying. I 
am sorry to say most of the Irish wool is ex- 
ported, and I fear the manufacture of woollen 
goods has not increased. The linen trade is 
principally confined to Ulster ; and I would far 
rather see the other three provinces of Ireland 
cultivate some distinct branch of manufacture, 
than, as it were, go into opposition in this one. 


a saxon's remedy 

There is a great deal of mineral wealth, in 
Ireland which has not been utilized as it ought 
to have been, considering some of the mining 
companies are very prosperous. The most pro- 
fitable trades in Ireland are brewing and dis- 
tilling; and I believe the high duty on 
whisky is acting prejudicially just now, as I 
hear even the most eminent distillers are giving 
up using malt, and are extracting the spirit from 
u raw corn," as it is called. However, in porter 
the people have a cheap wholesome beverage 
which is not intoxicating ; though we have the 
authority of numerous celebrated men in favour 
of a moderate quantity of whisky being beneficial 
in a moist climate. 

There has lately been a steam- ship building- 
yard established at Dublin, and if the shipwrights 
at East London continue to stand out for eight 
shillings a day, there is every probability of a 
considerable trade being transferred to the Lifiey, 
as well as to the Clyde. 

Many of the principal merchants and manufac- 


turers are Quakers, and many of them bear Scotch 

Irishmen do not like trade ; and though a 
portion of them have a certain mechanical genius, 
they are at once too careless and too timid in 
financial operations to be successful in manufac- 
turing on a large scale. Thus it is not merely 
capital which is required to introduce manufac- 
tures into Ireland, but the people who own it as 
well. Mr. Dargan was no exception to my 
dictum with respect to the Irishmen of the old 
race being unfit to conduct large trading opera- 
tions, for it is pretty evident his affairs were 
always in a muddle. 

Shopkeeping has been completely altered since 
I first visited the island ; in those days, when you 
entered a shop the proprietor, though not uncivil, 
appeared to consider he was doing you a service 
by supplying your wants, and was quite as ready 
to talk about the state of the country, the 
appearance of the crops, &c, as to do business : 
now the establishment of large shops, or rather 


a saxon's remedy 

marts, where you can buy everything, from fur- 
niture to hair-pins, has placed the large towns on 
an equality with those of any other country. A 
great number of these marts are in the hands of 
members of the Society of Friends, or of Scotch- 
men, and I believe many of them have realized 
fortunes. In country towns some of the shop- 
keepers do a large and profitable business, and, 
as a class, are well off. They nearly all have 
farms as well ; and the majority of them being 
Catholics and men of much better education than 
country shopkeepers in England, taking consider- 
able interest in politics, and having much influ- 
ence with their customers, they possess a much 
greater weight in political matters than many 
people imagine. They have made money the 
last few years, and I notice they are taking great 
pains to have their children well educated. 

Perhaps it has been observed that some of the 
Fenians were of the shopkeeping class, but these 
were foolish young men, for retail tradesmen 
generally are certainly not conspirators ; but 


tliey are nearly all, Protestants and Catholics, in 
favour of extensive tenant-right ; and those who 
are not Catholics, being Quakers, Presbyterians, 
and Methodists, would also be glad to see altera- 
tions in the disposition of the revenues of the 
Established Church and in educational matters. 




J^TJT for the intolerance of some members of 
the Church of England, the sympathy ex- 
pressed by many Protestants for Garibaldi, and 
the conviction of every one that alterations were 
required, I doubt if the higher classes of the 
Bomish Church would have attempted anything 
against their Protestant brethren. Old-fashioned 
parish priests and old-fashioned clergymen got 
on pretty well together ; neither cared to prose- 
lytize, and there being few of the poorer class 
among the clergyman's congregation, he often 
employed Catholic servants and labourers. 

After the Act was passed making the tithes 
payable by the landlord, the farmers had little 


cause for personal animosity against the clergy- 
man; and, as far as my experience goes, he was 
generally spoken of and treated with respect. 
The lower orders certainly dislike Presbyterians 
and Methodists, but members of the Church of 
England and Quakers they do not consider their 
enemies, or designate by the terms " swaddlers" 
and "supers," I do not think there is any one, 
from Cardinal Cullen downwards, who would 
grudge any Church clergyman good fair pay for 
the duties he has to perform ; and I am quite 
certain they would award the curates far more 
than they get at present. 

Of late years, however, some efforts have been 
made, particularly in the west, to persuade 
Eoman Catholics to change their religion ; a 
good deal of money has been subscribed for this 
object, and many ladies have been active in dis- 
tributing tracts, &c. Now, besides the natural 
dislike every minister of every religion has to 
lose any of his flock, a parish priest is deprived 
of part of his income if his congregation is re- 

240 a saxon's remedy 

duced, and much indignation has been excited in 
different parts of Ireland by the efforts to which 
I have alluded. Priests of energetic disposition, 
some of them converts from Protestantism, have 
endeavoured also to gain proselytes ; and I have 
known instances where wine and food, warm 
clothing and kindness, judiciously administered, 
have certainly not made the aspect of the Catho- 
lic fold less inviting. I do not know which has 
got the best of it in point of numbers, but I am 
very certain my Protestant clerical friends had 
better have been quiet as far as the revenues of 
the Church are concerned. Our lively acquain- 
tance Punch has had something to do with the 
movement by his pictures, displayed in every 
newsvendor's windows, portraying the Pope in 
all kinds of ridiculous positions. 

Many persons ask me why the Protestant 
journals were always abusing the Holy Father — 
and, to say the truth, it does not seem judicious 
or fair to exhibit to the eyes of a devout Catholic 
people the object of their greatest earthly reve- 


rence in a ridiculous point of view, though I do 
not know how it could be prevented, — and I ex- 
plain that Punch makes fun of everybody and 

Keen intellects, half Irish half Italian, per- 
ceived that the Irish Church was a weak point in 
Protestantism, and they attacked it accordingly. 
Anything very wealthy soon attracts the spoilers 
— Presbyterians and other Dissenters would be 
glad to share in the distribution of good things ; 
curates see the anomaly of their position : land- 
lords would be delighted to escape paying the 
heavy tithe-rent charges with which they are 
saddled, if they did not think that a solution of 
the land question would follow any successful 
attack on Church property, — and no doubt we 
are on the eve of radical changes. As for a 
number of Irish noblemen and gentlemen meet- 
ing at the Eotundo and talking about the 
impossibility of any alteration, when the clearest 
intellects in England and the popular 
voice go the other way, no one values that a 


242 a saxon's remedy 

"thraneen," as the Irish say — Anglice, "jack- 

Many of my friends — many of those I love and 
respect — are clergymen of the Irish Church, dis- 
charging their duties in a quiet, easy, gentle- 
manly way, and giving little offence to any one ; 
but if their mission were to convert, though 
backed for centuries by all the power of the State, 
and gifted with no inconsiderable portion of its 
emoluments, they have signally failed ; they 
have had ample opportunities of making Ireland 
Protestant, and yet they have hardly held their 
ground. The only excuse for their being main- 
tained in the position they have so long held, is 
that they represent a religion by law esta- 
blished, and that there was good reason to 
suppose Protestantism could be made the general 
belief of the Irish. At the present time, when 
the law is administered by Roman Catholic 
judges, when Castle advisers and Lord Mayors 
are Catholics also, and when a Catholic cardinal 
and archbishop takes precedence, at a banquet 


given to a Conservative Lord-Lieutenant, of a 
Protestant archbishop, it i^ idle to talk of Pro- 
testant ascendancy in Ireland. 

The Protestant Church as by law established 
in Ireland, has preferred the loaves and fishes and 
a quiet life to hard work in the cause of either 
Eeligion or Education. Bishops and archbishops 
have died worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, 
energetic curates have grown grey-headed on a 
hundred pounds a year ; diocesan schools expressly 
established for the education of young men in 
the Protestant faith have been systematically 
neglected, and bequests for educational or charita- 
ble purposes have lapsed or been diverted from 
the donor's intentions through the carelessness 
of the clerical trustees. The following particu- 
lars have lately been going the round of the 
Dublin papers : — On the death of the diocesan 
schoolmaster at Wicklow, who received a hundred 
a year from the diocese and about forty pounds a 
year from Government land set aside for the 
purpose, no other master was appointed to suc- 
r 2 


a saxon's remedy 

ceed him. Some years after, the Endowed Schools 
Commission took the evidence of the clergyman 
of the parish and of gentlemen in the neigh- 
bourhood relative to this school ; the clergyman 
stated that in consequence of the non- appointment 
of a master, respectable tradesmen and farmers, 
and even gentlemen, were unable to obtain educa- 
tion for their children except by sending them 
many miles away. He said that thirty or forty 
boys would attend the diocesan school from the 
immediate neighbourhood ; that he himself had 
been educated at one and was aware of their 
great utility, &c. ; in fact, this clergyman, the 
treasurer to the grand jury of the county, and 
other gentlemen, demonstrated the great need for 
the school, and the then Lord-Lieutenant, on the 
Eeport of the Commission, at once appointed a 
schoolmaster. Archbishop Whately, however, 
refused to concur in the appointment ; and the 
matter ended for the time in the master receiving 
a living in lieu of the school. Since the appoint- 
ment of Archbishop Trench the matter has been 


vigorously revived, every Protestant in the town 
and neighbourhood signing a petition to the 
archbishop requesting him to re-establish the 
school; but his Grace has decidedly declined. 
The fact, therefore, remains, that forty pounds 
per annum derivable from the Government lands 
have been paid into the hands of Government 
instead of being devoted to the people of Wick- 
low, and that one hundred pounds per annum, 
which was assessed as the contribution from the 
archbishop and the clergy of the immensely 
wealthy diocese of Dublin, has fructified, let us 
hope, for thirty years in their pockets, instead of 
instructing the Protestant youth of this same 
diocese, clergymen's sons included. 

A short time since, in one of the towns in New 
Zealand, a curious meeting took place : a young 
fellow who had just driven some cattle to an inn 
yard recognised in the ostler the nephew, and in 
the waiter the son, of a well known baronet and 
M.P. The marker at the billiard-table, he was 
told, was another old friend. Now all these young 

246 a saxon's remedy 

men were from a locality where a diocesan school 
ought to have been, but was not, and they had 
been without a chance of the early training and 
discipline so necessary to high-spirited youth. 

The English press has lately drawn attention 
to the fact that neither Protestants nor Catholics 
are contented with the working of the National 
Schools. Thus the state of education of all 
classes is not in a satisfactory condition, which is 
the more to be regretted as there is a greater 
desire to learn, among the lower orders at any 
rate, and the children not being engaged in 
manfactures are at liberty to attend schools. 
Not long since I had letters from both the clergy- 
man and priest of a certain parish, each asking 
me to subscribe to schools independent of the 
National School, and each declaring that it was 
impossible children of his persuasion could attend 
that provided by Government consistently with 
their religious tenets. 

Neither by the spread of education, which we 
Protestants imagine ought to open the eyes of 


the Papists to the errors of their Church, nor by 
showing in their own persons a holy disregard of 
the treasures of this world in comparison with 
the safety of their own flock and inviting stray 
sheep from other folds, have clergymen of the 
Established Church justified their being main- 
tained in an exceptional position. As I have 
before hinted, some of its members who have at- 
tempted proselytizing in a feeble way, have been 
met by counter endeavours to convert Pro- 
testants ; and as far as respectability goes, to 
judge from the announcements in the papers, the 
Catholics have the best of it. Once admit that 
you cannot make Ireland Protestant, and it is 
impossible to avoid the conclusion that the 
Church of England ought not to absorb the 
enormous revenues it does. The most telling 
speeches on this subject have been made by 
Protestants ; in one diocese it is stated that 
there are one hundred and forty clergymen 
preaching to thirteen thousand Protestants. 
They are paid at the rate of twelve pounds for 

248 a saxon's remedy 

each member of their flock. I happen to have 
seen the Government inquiry into a Church of 
England school in this diocese, for which a large 
sum of money was left ; each boy cost about 
thirty-five pounds per annum, and they had clean 
linen for day and night use only once a week ! 
The Quaker school near, where it was admitted 
the boys had every necessary comfort, cost some 
pounds less. The principal trustee of the Church 
school remarked with great naivete that the 
Quakers managed a vast deal better than they 
did, and he wished they had their assistance. 

Many of my Irish Protestant friends, if they 
reckon the congregations of the churches they 
attend, will find ten pounds a head about the 
scale of pay their pastor receives for the congre- 
gation he sees around him. About two-thirds of 
the parishes in Ireland only average a hundred 
members of the Church of England, so that from 
thirty to seventy will be about the number of 
those actually in church at the same time, while 
of these a certain proportion are poor persons, 


amongst whom is divided the money collected 
from the congregation during each service for 
this purpose. Instances of incumbents having 
ten pounds each for every man, woman, and child 
within the limits of his living, who have been 
baptized according to the rites of the Established 
Church, are not uncommon. Then there are two 
archbishops, as many as we have in England, 
and an array of bishops, deans, &c, out of all 
proportion to the population of Ireland, much 
more to the few hundred thousand belonging to 
the Established Church. English Protestants 
of different religious and political opinions have 
emphatically raised their voices against this state 
of things continuing, and many of the bitterest 
haters of Eomanism in Ireland by no means ap- 
prove of the Established Church and its minis- 
ters there. I have spoken of intolerance in con - 
nexion with certain members of this Church ; 
but I am bound to say that the congregations 
are often far more intolerant than the clergymen 
themselves ; and it is because there is a suspicion 


a s axon's remedy 

that some leaning towards Puseyism has been 
lately manifested in certain quarters that Irish 
Protestants are in many cases dissatisfied. 
A loud speaking preacher who declaims about 
the Scarlet Woman, and prophecies from signs 
of the times her speedy downfall from her 
ancient throne, and who demolishes all the 
doctrines of the Eomish Church from which 
we dissent, is a far more popular man with his 
congregation than the individual who preaches 
charity and good will towards all men, particu- 
larly if the latter happens to allow painted 
memorial windows, or departs in any way from 
old Puritan customs. Then your Irish Protes- 
tant, besides being puritanical, considers himself 
as good as any one, and far better and greater 
than any Koinan Catholic. A feeling yet re- 
mains that the Protestants should hold together, 
as I hear white men of every grade hold toge- 
ther when amongst uncivilized races, which, in 
times not far distant, was doubtless necessary 
and natural. 


Latterly the clergy have mixed too exclusively, 
I think, with the gentry and the wealthy, and 
have occasionally treated with scant courtesy 
their poorer co-religionists. Now, I do not say 
it is unnatural that the wealthy clergy should 
consider that the time has come to make more 
distinction of classes, and should join the higher 
one in snubbing the pretensions of Protestant 
bakers and saddlers, and in making small farmers 
wait a few minutes on hall-door mats when they 
come to confer on spiritual matters — I only say 
they are foolish to do it ; and in some cases a 
very stringent inquiry into the dealings with 
trust-funds has followed a reverend gentleman's 
wife or daughters having looked another way 
when Mrs. Grocer expected a warm greeting, to 
say nothing of Mr. Grocer himself having had 
to wait twelve hours before he could see his 
reverence himself, when laid up with illness and 
anxious for religious consolation. Mr. Grocer 
determines to inquire into the disposition of the 
"Hartley" Fund, and the "Speedwell" Fund; 

252 a s axon's remedy 

and his cousins, and Mrs. Grocer s brothers, and 
Miss Grocer's sweetheart, with his relations, all 
back him up. There are some feeble efforts to 
withhold particulars ; but it then comes out that 
the interest from the bequest left for the purpose 
of providing for six old men has been taken for 
the choir ever since the last batch of old men 
died out; and the other fund, for apprenticing 
six poor boys, was swallowed up in new-pewing 
the church. There is a feeling of animosity- 
roused ; many of the congregation believe, gene- 
rally erroneously, that their pastor has in some 
way personally benefited ; so the Methodists and 
Presbyterians receive a few new members, while 
those who remain staunch yet carp at everything 
done by one whom heretofore they had looked 
upon with the greatest respect. 

The position of the curates too, which all 
lovers of the Established Church everywhere 
must regard as a great defect in her system, is 
felt more in Ireland than in England, owing to 
the spirit of equality to which I have alluded. 


The curate is as much a gentleman as his rector, 
and he is usually more energetic in good works, 
always ready to forward local improvements, has 
Bible Classes, and promotes Young Men's Chris- 
tian Associations. His religious superiors are 
continually remembering they are on an equality 
with the county people ; the curate only recol- 
lects that he is the spiritual equal of the poorest. 
Most of the parish work is allotted to him, and 
when living after living is given to friends of the 
powers that be, and a curate such as I have 
described is left for ten or fifteen years on a 
hundred pounds per annum, those who consider 
him one of themselves murmur in a way which 
should alarm the holders of sinecure benefices. 
I have even heard curates themselves, and old 
clergymen with large families, who possess 
livings little better than curacies, say some hard 
things about the thousands archbishops and 
bishops receive, and about the drones of the 
hives getting all the honey, which those digni- 
taries referred to would have considered dan- 

254 a s axon's remedy 

gerous, revolutionary, and equal to heresy. Thus 
I am not sure whether the reputed friends of the 
Irish Established Church are all to be depended 
upon when the fight begins. 

A number of Protestant gentlemen have lately 
met in Dublin and raised the cry of "No sur- 
render/' Cambronne said the same at Waterloo, 
and he has been depicted uttering these words ; 
but Cambronne, though a very brave fellow, gave 
up his sword a few minutes after ; and a good 
many of these Irish gentlemen who are paying 
heavy tithe-rent charges for tenants who do not 
attend church would be equally ready to listen 
to reason if they knew what was to be the 
ultimate destination of the revenues of the 


As soon as it is decided that part of the Church 
property is to be diverted from its present chan- 
nel (and I look upon this as an accomplished 
fact), landlords will consider they may as well 
have part of the spoil as Papists and Presby- 
terians; and we know that in the time of 



King Henry VIII. noblemen of all religions were 
quite ready to accept abbey-lands. However, 
I will discuss in another chapter how divers 
people consider this matter had better be 




A LL one's ideas of a priest, derived from old 

novels and from Exeter Hall, vanish when 
one comes to know the robust-looking, good- 
humoured ecclesiastics who preside over the spi- 
ritual concerns of the Roman Catholic Irish. 
They stand forth as different from priests of all 
other nations that I have met, as if the article had 
no connexion with any other religion than Irish 
Catholicism ; and I have never been able to un- 
derstand how those who have been educated in 
Italy reconcile to themselves the difference in the 
internal as well as the outward appearance of the 


In Italy, for example, so much honour to saints, 
with such profusion of ornament and votive offer- 
ings for miraculous preservations and cures, and 
in Ireland such comparative simplicity of orna- 
mentation, and such restriction of worship to 
almost what we Protestants hold in reverence, 
though with the Virgin as Intercessor. 

Speaking as a Protestant, I should say someEng- 
lish Puseyites I have known, are more Eomanists 
than the generality of Irish priests ; and I am 
sure they know more about many of the saints and 
hold their memories in higher estimation than 
sundry good Catholics of my acquaintance, who I 
puzzled considerably after a careful study of 
Mrs. Jamieson. 

The model Irish priest is a tall, stout, powerful 
man, with a loud voice, an imposing air, and a 
keen, shrewd expression of countenance. To such 
Protestant gentlemen as have good sense enough 
to treat him as the minister of any religion ought 
to be treated, he is particularly courteous and 
ready to afford the valuable stores of his local 



a saxon's remedy 

and general information. Nor, during a long 
and varied experience of parish priests and their 
curates, have I ever had my own Protestantism 
assailed in any way, my prejudices offended, or 
my purse trespassed upon. 

With their own parishioners they are tolerably 
despotic. Knowing each turn of the peculiar 
mind of each member of their congregation by 
the agency of the confessional, they can sway 
them as they please. In every trouble of life 
they are at hand; and the darkest night, the 
wildest road, and the deadliest pestilence, will 
not hinder a priest from seeking a parishioner 
who desires his aid. 

The priest has absolutely to fast till the mid- 
day service is completed ; he keeps strict absti- 
nence in Lent, and though I have made searching 
inquiry, and he is surrounded by people who hate 
and suspect him and would be delighted to en- 
trap him, I never heard of one parish priest in 
Ireland breaking the vow of chastity. Mr. Trol- 
lope, in his "Macdermots of Ballycloran," has 


given an excellent description of one, not inferior 
to his life-like portraiture of English divines in 
later works. 

As a rule, Englishmen of sense and education 
get on very well with the Catholic clergy ; but 
such companionship is always resented by the 
Protestant Irish, who say we are not up to them, 
and warn us of all sorts of unexplained pitfalls. 
During thirteen years I have found them on my 
side in divers difficulties with tenants, &c, and 
any little civility or good service on my part has 
been returned fourfold ; so if my old friends have 
been digging a pitfall for me all these years it 
must be a deep one by this time. 

It is very singular that no Government has 

ever made such men their friends, and bound 

them steadfastlv to their cause. All Govern- 

ments in Ireland, however, have failed to conci- 
liate and make part of themselves these keepers 
of the consciences and readers of the inmost 
thoughts of the Irish people. Thus their interest 
has always been with the agitators, and their 

Q 9 

260 a saxon's remedy 

feelings strongly enlisted in favour of tlie poor 
man against the rich and strong. 

At the present moment there is a good oppor- 
tunity for binding the Irish priesthood to any 
reasonable plan that would terminate ill feelings 
and ceaseless discontent. The old-fashioned priests 
are menaced in two ways : a fresh, a younger, and 
more Jesuitical class has arisen. They are liked 
by the poorer class of Irish, for some of them 
have private fortunes, and they give away much ; 
they try to level distinctions of classes, and re- 
quire absolute obedience from rich and poor alike. 
More than once they have opposed the candi- 
dates supported by the old style of priests, and in 
many ways have impressed people with the idea 
that they are cleverer, more devoted to religion, 
and more resolute to get all that the poorer classes 
want — or think that they want — than the old- 
fashioned sort. Farmers, you must recollect, 
want leases, low rents, and low wages, while 
labourers want increased pay; thus the two 
interests are by no means identical. Now, the 


new style of priest is emphatically the friend 
of the labourer, while an idea is abroad that 
the old priests hold more to farmers and 

Amongst the lower orders I hear many remarks 
about the incomes of parish priests, and Protes- 
tant newspapers, in which this subject is dis- 
cussed, are eagerly read. According to their 
statement, the incomes of priests vary from three 
hundred to six hundred pounds per annum; I 
do not think any one knows, but I hope it is so, 
for no men deserve it better, or are more ready 
to give to the poor and sick ; nevertheless, I 
have been grieved and astonished to hear bitter 
remarks made about such an income being re- 
ceived by Catholic clergy, and their horses and 
covered cars commented upon in no friendly 

How it is expected that old and often ailing 
men are to reach their sick parishioners in tem- 
pestuous weather, except in covered conveyances, 
I do not know ; but the remarks show me that 

262 a s axon's remedy 

the Fenians have been at work undermining the 
hitherto good understanding between the parish 
priest and his flock. I conscientiously believe 
that the best advisers of all grades of Catholics 
are my old friends the parish priests, and I feel 
convinced that they, as well as I, wish to see the 
hard-working labourer better paid, and his in- 
dustrious employer so secured that his landlord 
cannot confiscate the results of his money and 
energy. I warn them, however, to persevere in 
denouncing Fenianism, which is their enemy as 
well as that of England, and I counsel them to 
hold open any door of entrance to that Grovern- 
ment which shall honestly endeavour to bring to 
Irishmen of all religions equality, peace, and con- 
tentment, without a chance of domination even 
to their own Church. 

At the same time I would say a few words to 
the heads of my own Church.. An Englishman, 
the author of " A Walking Tour Bound Ireland," 
says, " Nothing can be more unsatisfactory than 
the state of the Protestant religion, especially in 


the country districts. I am myself a Protestant, 
and the son of a clergyman of the Church of 
England, and all my present and future hopes 
and fears are mixed up with this faith, yet I 
declare that I would sooner see the Eoman 
Catholic faith prevail in Ireland in the same 
active manner as I witnessed it in Brittany and 
Normandy, than the present dead-alive Protes- 
tantism." With much of this I cordially agree. 
Some of my immediate progenitors were clergy- 
men illustrious for learning and piety, and I my- 
self would run any risk, and face any danger, 
rather than have my religious opinions interfered 
with, and to prevent Eoman Catholic ascendency, 
but it is, in my opinion, useless to expect whole- 
sale conversion, and a believing, Grod-fearing 
Catholic is better than a lukewarm, doubting 

The Highlanders, the Manxmen, and the Irish 
are kindred races, but the two former have 
uniformly accepted the Protestant faith, though 
they are not of the Established Church. The 


a saxon's remedy 

Welsh retain their Celtic language, but tliey are 
Methodists in feeling; and those who attend 
church are often induced to remain within the 
pale by a wise indulgence of their views of 
general Psalmody of a peculiar nature. A 
foreigner once told me that he heard only rich, 
clever people belonged to the Established Church. 
This is a doubtful compliment to a religion which 
takes its name from a Carpenter's Son, and whose 
first apostles and preachers were fishermen and 
tent- makers ! I am afraid it is true, though, for, 
not many years since, I remember a poor, dying 
sinner sent to five different clergymen in the city 
of London, and none of them came to him. I 
could tell of poor Protestants sadly neglected, 
spiritually and corporeally, in Ireland, when 
Catholic aid was afforded. It is the old story we 
read, as children, about "Keeper and Jowler," 
the two great mastiffs. Keeper was retained by 
the master of the estate, and was pampered and 
fed on dainties ; Jowler was given to the shep- 
herd. One day the owner of Keeper was walking 


in the forest when he was attacked by two 
robbers. He defended himself, and called loudly 
to Keeper for help : the cowardly animal slunk 
away, and his master would have been over- 
powered had not a large dog rushed upon the 
marauders, pulled one down instantly, and en- 
abled the gentleman to despatch the other. The 
shepherd, coming upon the scene, was ordered 
to destroy the cowardly Keeper, and requested 
to give up the valiant Jowler (for he was the 
strange dog) to guard his former owner. 
Months passed away; Jowler lived luxuriously, 
grew fat and lazy, and, on an unlucky day, when 
his adventurous proprietor attacked some wolves, 
who were devouring a sheep, he executed a rapid 
retreat. The wolves were pressing hard on their 
human enemy, when a powerful, but decidedly 
lean and hungry-looking, dog came to the rescue, 
and the wolves were speedily killed. Of course 
the dog was Keeper, wisely spared by the shep- 
herd, and I think he read his master a strong 
lecture on the folly of allowing dogs, who were 

266 a saxon's remedy 

expected to be brave and active, to have too much 
ease and good living. 

This little tale may be well applied to the 
spiritual guardians of Irish flocks; but there is 
another fault, besides taking things too easily, 
which may be laid to the charge of influential 
ecclesiastics in Ireland. They will not judge for 
themselves, but take the opinion of some inferior, 
who almost invariably advises setting the wishes 
of congregations at defiance. 

I happened to have the great advantage of 
friendly intercourse with one of the highest 
Church dignitaries in Ireland. He was courteous, 
witty, and learned, of no violent opinions, and, 
I believe, most anxious to do his duty and con- 
ciliate, but he has become very unpopular from 
doing things with too high a hand, and from 
falling into the old groove of going with the 
clergy in opposition to the wishes of the Pro- 
testant body, and rather cramping the means of 
educating the people than making the existing 
facilities available. 


Of course there is time to draw back, and a 
thoroughly great man would do so, therefore, as 
this highly-placed dignitary has lately withdrawn 
an appointment he had made, on the threat of 
the entire congregation to leave the church if the 
incumbent entered it, he may prove himself 
entitled to what I consider the greatest of all 
praise, namely, that of being able to retire grace- 
fully from a false position, and remember that he 
is placed over the interests of Protestants for the 
benefit of the entire Church, and not merely to 
gratify the prejudices of certain clergymen. 

I have written in vain, if I have not made you 
feel that Irish Protestants are by no means the 
kind of flock you can calculate upon shearing and 
driving about just as the shepherd pleases. 

Now, Cardinal Cullen, who I have also the 
advantage of knowing, is admired and respected 
by all the Catholics of Ireland I ever met. It is 
impossible so energetic, clever, and impulsive a 
man can fail to hit hard sometimes, and he must 
occasionally leave a sting behind, but the intense 


admiration of his eloquence and vigour, felt by 
his inferiors, makes his mortal errors soon for- 
gotten, and whenever it is said " Cardinal Cullen 
has been giving it them," the papers containing 
his addresses are quickly bought up, in a very 
different way from any Protestant purchases of 
" Charges to Clergy/' &c. 



T HAVE purposely left these good people to 
the last, and put them immediately after my 
description of priests, because I wish to show 
how the peculiarities of other classes affect them, 
especially that of the Sacerdotal. 

Books in which the lowers orders of the Irish 
are described, dwell so persistently on the 
humorous and pathetic parts of their characters, 
that the portraiture is of little value to the 
political economist, the legislator, or to the 
manufacturer debating about an investment in a 
country possessing vast unemployed water-power 
and cheap labour. 

If you want to see an Irishman and woman in 

270 a saxon's remedy 

an amusing and interesting light only, two hours 
spent with Mr. and Mrs. Boucicault in the 
" Colleen Bawn" will give you a far better idea 
of them than reading any number of pages of 
any work in existence. 

Unfortunately, in describing the lower orders 
of every country in the world, we are compelled to 
say a few words about the " roughs/' scoundrels 
who hardly ever work, and who are ready at all 
times for disturbance and plunder. In all sea- 
port towns these fellows abound, not only be- 
cause honest sailors are easily plundered, but 
that many vessels make up their crews with men 
who are not professional seamen, who are of 
every nation under heaven, and who are often 
consummate scoundrels. 

Last year, when at Cherbourg, I saw the crew 
of a large American vessel, hardly one of whom 
was honest and frank-looking as a sailor should 
be, but who were yellow- skinned, lantern-jawed, 
half-caste looking desperadoes, who might have 
sat for a picture of a pirate crew. We have 


often these kind of men in our own merchant 
service ; and the disturbances in Cork and other 
places are quite as much prompted by the dislike 
of lawless ruffians to the police, which is unfor- 
tunately common also in London, as by any poli- 
tical hostility to the Government. A way must be 
found to deal with these "roughs/' both in 
Ireland and England, and to make magistrates 
understand that a brutal assault must be punished 
far more severely than a petty theft. 

Turning from these disagreeable people, I 
may remark that every one who visits Ireland is 
struck with the courtesy of the lower orders. It 
has been observed, that the peasantry have the 
manners of ladies and gentlemen, while those 
who own the land have got nothing besides. 
Of course, this is too sweeping a conclusion, and 
there is an unmistakeable difference between the 
inhabitants of Munster, Connaught, and Leinster. 
Everywhere they will take any trouble for a 
stranger, appear to agree with all he says, and 
to take an interest in his proceedings ; but in 

272 a saxon's remedt 

Munster they are more suspicious and reticent, 
and more apt to brood over their wrongs; in 
Connaught they often understand English im- 
perfectly, and not wishing to admit this they 
occasionally give you wrong information invo- 
luntarily ; while in Leinster, where no Irish is 
spoken except the use of an expressive word here 
and there, you see the best types of the class I 
am describing, and may freely enter into con- 
versation with any man, however poor, resting 
assured that he will never presume upon your 
affability. Those who think as much of " blood " 
as Major Yelverton, or Mr. Toole in " Doing for 
the Best/ 5 may like to know they will frequently 
be conversing with men whose pedigrees are as 
illustrious as any in the House of Lords. 

Mtzgeralds, Courtenays, O'Briens, Mallins, 
O'Byrnes, have all condescended to plough my 
fields and groom my horses, and some of them 
remained with me more than ten years. They 
have many valuable qualities, are never insolent, 
and, if treated with consideration, always seem 


to take a personal interest in your health and 
fortune. As a rule too they are sober ; but on 
the other hand, it cannot be denied they do 
many provoking things. Of course they do 
much less work than an English labourer, for it 
is impossible that men who are underpaid can 
be physically capable of doing hard work ; and 
though farmers are grumbling at the rise in 
wages, it is better for both the employers and 
employed that two shillings a day should be the 
average, when a cottage and bit of ground is 
not given. 

A large farmer will always find his account in 
giving a cottage and rood of land to each of his 
regular labourers ; by this means he will get the 
best men, anxious not to lose their situations, 
and secure children for weeding, &c. The mise- 
rable, unwholesome cabins where many gentle- 
men of property put their work-people are 
evidences of recklessness and impolicy. Irish 
labourers are also fond of "scamping" work, as 
it is called. They will repair a fence with a few 


274 a s axon's remedy 

thorns or brambles, although, the said fence is 
close to a road, and some old woman or boy is 
sure to carry them off for firing within the week ; 
and they will leave cart-wheels ungreased, har- 
ness unmended, or repaired so badly that it 
breaks again immediately, and all kinds of tools 
and implements exposed to rain and sun. If 
they borrow anything from a neighbour, it is 
never taken back to him ; and if your neighbour 
borrows anything of you, you had better give it 
to him at once and buy another. These things 
are not peculiar to Irishmen, as I, who have had 
to do with collieries and iron works in England, 
very well know that a miner will " shove up his 
Davy" to see if there is foul air about, for a pint 
of ale, risking his own life and those of a hun- 
dred others ; and a moulder will fill up a crack 
in a defective girder, though he knows that even 
if it should escape the tests usually applied, it 
may cause incalculable mischief by breaking when 
used as a support.. 

Irish labourers differ essentially from English, 


in disliking to work over hours, and in dreading 
long exposure to wet. You can hardly induce 
them, even in harvest-time, to remain after six 
o'clock, or to pull up thistles and weeds from 
corn after a heavy rain. The reason for this is, 
that they have no change of clothes to replace 
their wet ones, and in illness they have little to 
expect from the consideration of their employers, 
while out-door relief is not much practised ; 
neither are there sick-clubs. That I maintained 
an old man in sickness, and paid for his funeral 
after death, was considered an extraordinary in- 
stance of generosity by the poor man, and of 
folly by the rich (though any English gentleman 
would do the same) ; and I am afraid a red 
ticket, which ensures the immediate attendance 
of a dispensary doctor, and a few broken victuals, 
are all that would have been considered neces- 
sary. The poor diet of the lower orders of Irish 
renders them peculiarly liable to fever, and their 
dread of catching it is beyond anything we can 
imagine. If we English, male and female,, 

t 2 

276 a saxon's remedy 

have one good quality, it is pluck. I have 
known plenty of men and women frivolous, mer- 
cenary, and selfish, who have robbed their nearest 
relations, and outraged every domestic tie, yet 
who have braved fever and pestilence in assisting 
even strangers stricken with illness. Now, in 
Ireland only hired nurses will come near if any 
kind of fever is about, and people of all classes 
go to bed, and look as if their last hour was 
come, if suffering from slight ailments, when 
many of us would be going about our business 
as usual. I have no doubt people actually die, 
like Mrs. Dombey, from not " making an 
effort," and (though Dickens does not mention 
the fact) she was probably a Hibernian. 

The Irish of the poorer classes invariably con- 
clude that any person will die who is taken ill. 
And I will give one or two ludicrous instances. 
I purchased some property many years ago at a 
distance from where I resided, about the title of 
which there was considerable difficulty. One of 
the tenants came over to see me ; and as I had 


an inflamed eye I received him in a darkened 
room and lying on the sofa. Long afterwards I 
found he told the rest of the tenants they need 
not bother to visit me as I should never live to 
take possession. One evening a groom I had 
came crying to me in the greatest distress to say 
his father had been killed by a young horse, and 
might he go to him. Of course, I allowed him 
to do so ; and on his return was sorry to learn 
that the old man, who was a respectable farmer, 
though not actually dead, could not live through 
the night. The affectionate son w r as still in 
great grief, and I believe the women servants 
sat up half the night consoling him. The next 
day there was a large auction a few miles off to 
which I went, and the first persons I saw were 
two sons of the injured man who assisted him in 
his farm. Eather astonished at the sight, I asked 
after their afflicted parent and received a very 
gloomy account, which, to my unutterable 
amazement, wound up with, "But sure, your 
honer, bad as he was, nothing would keep him 

278 a s axon's remedy 

from the auction." A few minutes after I saw 
the old fellow sitting up in his cart, and bidding 
away as boldly as any one there. The fact is, 
he had got an ugly blow on the stomach which 
pretty well knocked the wind out of him for the 
time, but he lived many a long year. 

Money is often subscribed to bury people who 
are as well as ever a few days afterwards. 

Another reason the Irish dislike working 
overtime is, that any unoccupied men might be 
jealous, and think they were kept out of employ- 
ment. It is not many years since there were 
three men wishing to be engaged wherever one 
was required; and though work is much more 
plentiful no doubt, the old feeling still exists. 
For this reason, too, there is always difficulty in 
obtaining boys and girls to single turnips and 
perform similar easy farming operations. How- 
ever, the children have a better chance of educa- 
tion owing to this fact. Estimating the good 
and bad qualities of Irish labourers, I am of 
opinion that if you have a good steward or 


bailiff, and do not utterly neglect some super- 
vision yourself, you may by firmness towards, 
and consideration for them, do as well as with 
English and Scotch. I cannot say quite as 
much for artizans : the best go to England, the 
second-best go to Dublin and the large towns ; 
and the consequence is that in country places 
you have a set of fellows more like what we call 
" handy men" in England than skilled workmen. 
They are the authors of the rattling windows 
which you can hardly raise, and which, when 
opened, come down with a run, nearly decapitat- 
ing you in the process ; of the doors whose locks 
will neither open nor shut properly, and of the 
chimneys that are constantly smoking : they are 
perfectly good-humoured when blown up, and 
generally make matters worse if allowed to at- 
tempt reparation. An Irish domestic is as well 
known in England as in the sister island. In 
many respects they are more like foreign ser- 
vants, and their utility depends even more on 
their master's and mistress's supervision than 

280 a saxon's remedy 

English ones. During the last two or three 
years the numerous saints' days and holy days 
prescribed by the Koman Catholic Church have 
been more scrupulously kept. This, I think, is 
a great pity, as farming operations are often re- 
tarded as well as domestic inconvenience being 
experienced and the wages of day-labourers 
seriously affected. 

In concluding the estimate of the lower classes 
in Ireland, we should never forget that owing to 
the immense sea-board there are a great number 
of fishermen and sailors (a bold, hardy race who 
have always an infinity of children that take to 
the sea as naturally as ducks to a pond), while 
the English navy has difficulty in obtaining men, 
and the mercantile marine is wofully deteriorated. 
A very little expense and trouble would procure 
hundreds of boys for the navy, and some of our 
vessels of war would be better employed cruising 
on the Irish coasts, occasionally running into 
the different ports and giving the people an idea 
of the power of England than in sailing about 


the Mediterranean. Nor must it be forgotten 
that Ireland is our great recruiting ground for 
the army ; and though want of regularity and 
method are important faults in the Irish cha- 
racter, the police have recently shown themselves 
to be possessed of extraordinary intelligence, 
fidelity, and courage, while their discipline is as 
perfect as that of any body of troops in the 

Now, it must be evident to all that many of 
the soldiers and sailors, a great majority of the 
police, the domestic servants, and the labourers, 
being Eoman Catholic, and being by nature at 
once suspicious and credulous, enthusiastic and 
desponding, in some things recklessly indifferent 
about life, in others deficient in sustained effort 
in time of danger, careful in their religious 
duties, and confessing regularly to their priests, 
these last hold the key to much of the future 
prosperity of Ireland, and to our good under- 
standing with all classes of the community. 
Thus, though I hope and believe we shall never 


truckle to any body of men on this or the other 
side of the Atlantic, I do maintain that, in com- 
mon sense and justice, we must consult the 
wishes of the Roman Catholic Priesthood in 
Ireland as to the education of their flocks, and 
as to the method in which they desire to be re- 
munerated for their professional services; and 
their opinion ought to have some weight in 
any measures we may adopt for the settlement 
of the Land Question. 





HAVE described at length the land and the 
Church grievances, and I think there will be 
little difference of opinion that some considerable 
alteration must be made in both cases. I now 
come to minor matters, which are less talked 
about, but which are still deeply felt. 

The magistracy in Ireland is managed in this 
wise : there is, in the first place, a gentleman 
termed the assistant-barrister; there is one for 
each county, and he is Conservative or Liberal, 
according as the appointments fall vacant; he 
receives from 600/. to 1200/. per annum, and is 
often a man of mark in his profession, but occa- 

284 a saxon's remedy 

sionally is some incompetent old gentleman who 
possesses a little political influence. This gentle- 
man presides at Quarter Sessions, where all crimi- 
nal cases, except capital offences, can be disposed 
of, as well as civil bills for 40/. and under, bank- 
ruptcy cases, ejectments, &c. ; in criminal cases 
the resident magistrate and the county magis- 
trates sit with him, and in civil cases there is no 
jury : the resident magistrate is not a lawyer i 
as long as he resided in the middle of the county, 
he was, if an active, intelligent man, who read 
up law and devoted himself to his office, of great 
use indeed. I have known one or two of these 
gentlemen more au fait at criminal law and the 
ordinary routine of little civil cases, under 2/. 
value, which come before magistrates, than some 
assistant-barristers. They are supposed to be in 
immediate communication with the Government, 
they control the police, and in cases of riot the 
military are under their direction. Their pay is, 
I believe, from 500/. to 700/. a year. We then 
come to the ordinary county magistrates, who 


are really appointed by tire lord-lieutenant of the 
county, though nominally the Chancellor ap- 
points on his recommendation. 

Now, after a close study of the subject, I am 
utterly unable to say why many of these appoint- 
ments take place. In Ireland, as in England, the 
sons of territorial magnates are considered fit to 
decide knotty points of criminal law as soon as 
they attain their majority, which every thinking 
man must admit is a disgrace to our sense of 

In Ireland the agents of great men are also 
appointed, and generally make active and useful 
magistrates ; but it would require a lifetime to 
go through the different counties of Ireland and 
ascertain how half the occupants of the bench 
have been placed there : it is not on account of 
their wealth, for I have seen a bench of magis- 
trates at Petty Sessions, who altogether were 
not worth a 1000/. a year, nor on account of 
their abilities, for I have known another dis- 
charge a ticket-of-leave man who was caught 


a saxon's remedy 

with a sack of potatoes close to a farmer's root- 
house which had been broken into, because the 
aforesaid farmer would not swear they were his, 
though he did to their being of the same descrip- 
tion, and though the prisoner could not account 
for his possession of them, or for his presence on 
the farmer's premises : it cannot be for their high 
character, for having been fined at police-courts 
for assaults, being frequently in a state of deli- 
rium tremens, and other well known peccadilloes, 
form no insuperable barrier to the bench. Being 
in trade, though objectionable, is not an absolute 
disqualification, for I remember one resolute 
individual who supplied some necessary articles 
retail, refusing to rent a house and demesne in a 
certain county, unless he was made a county 
magistrate; and, as the rent was high, and the 
place had been long untenanted, he carried his 
point, and was enabled to write J. P. after his 
name. One thing, however, is important; as 
the lord lieutenant of the county is almost certain 
to be a Protestant, a Catholic must be very 


influential, indeed, to be placed upon the bench, 
and any Protestant who thinks for himself, and 
shows independence of spirit, is pretty certain 
never to arrive there. 

At the sessions, in criminal cases, the position 
of the assistant-barrister is often disagreeable. 
We will say that a man is found guilty, properly 
enough, of a petty theft, though there is almost a 
doubt if he really meant to steal the article, he took 
it so openly. The police know nothing against 
his character, the assistant-barrister, taking a 
merciful view of the case, would sentence him to 
a couple of months' imprisonment with hard 
labour, but then one of the magistrates finds he 
bears the same name as a man his keeper suspects 
of poaching, and therefore he says, now they 
have got the scoundrel, they had better give him 
enough. The majority of the unprofessional 
are pretty sure to follow their leader, and the 
question being put to the vote, the man gets 
twelve months. I once knew a man get two 
years, when the grand jury had only returned 

288 a saxon's remedy 

a true bill by the merest chance, and when the 
petit jury had at first given a verdict tantamount 
to an acquittal, owing to the prosecutor stating 
he did not think the prisoner took the property 
except for a lark. In this case the man was a 
reckless drunken fellow, and unmistakeably a 

The grand jury at sessions ought to number 
twenty-four ; they comprise large farmers, mer- 
chants or superior tradesmen, half-pay officers, 
retired professional men, and country gentlemen, 
who, from one cause or another, are not placed 
on the assize grand jury; in some counties 
many of the magistrates will sit as sessions grand 
jurors, and then take their places on the bench. 
I derive this information from one of the oldest 
resident magistrates in Ireland, otherwise I should 
not chronicle so extraordinary a proceeding, 
having never myself seen it done. The jury thus 
constituted would be exceedingly valuable if they 
had anything to do, but inasmuch as robbery is 
rare in Ireland, and four- and- twenty gentlemen 


of standing and intelligence in each sessions dis- 
trict are very difficult to obtain, the result is that 
men of this description are summoned from their 
homes from ten to fifteen miles away, to return 
true bills against a few fellows who have been 
caught purloining trivial articles or committing 
common assaults. Occasionally a serious offence 
has to be investigated, where the evidence must 
be minutely scrutinized ; but as these cases are 
often remitted to the assizes (or the judges might 
have nothing to do), the sessions grand juries 
could be profitably dispensed with. 

I would also lessen the powers of the unpaid 
magistracy, and alter the manner of their ap- 
pointment. In no country except our own w T ould 
a man be constituted a judge because he had pro- 
perty in a county, or possessed some influence 
with the lord lieutenant of that county. 

Earl Eussell will remember a case in England 
where a nobleman resigned his post sooner than 
appoint magistrates who were distasteful to him, 
and I have known in Ireland the private recom- 



a saxon's remedy 

mendation of the Chancellor and the petitions of 
almost every respectable man in a district set 
aside because the lord lieutenant of the county, 
unable to question the fitness of the parties pro- 
posed, resented what he considered an attempt at 
dictation, and evaded the appointments. 

I think the assistant-barrister ought to have a 
larger salary, and not be allowed to practise his 
profession as he does at present ; in that case the 
number of judges might be reduced, and half of 
them might be selected from assistant-barristers. 
It would cost the country no more, as an assis- 
tant-barrister could easily take two counties if 
he had double pay and no other avocation. Of 
course I would do away with county magistrates 
assisting him at quarter-sessions, and let their 
labours be confined to the petty sessions ; and, 
though I would make a certain property qualifi- 
cation necessary in the case of county magistrates, 
they ought to be able to pass a suitable examina- 
tion in such legal matters as are likely to come 
before them. 


With regard to stipendiary or resident magis- 
trates, whose activity and intelligence have often 
been exceedingly useful in Ireland, I speak with 
considerable diffidence. If the duties of the 
assistant-barrister were enlarged as I have sug- 
gested, and he were compelled to reside in the 
midst of the district where those duties lay, much 
of the necessity for retaining a gentleman who is 
neither a police-officer nor a lawyer would be 
done away with. Some time since it was under- 
stood that Government intended to give these 
appointments to the county inspectors of police, 
but I am afraid they have not done so ; on the 
contrary, I fear that some of the higher offices in 
the police force itself have been given to military 
men, which is a very unfair proceeding towards 
gentlemen who have uniformly deserved so well 
of their country as the officers of the Irish con- 
stabulary. I see no reason the county inspector 
should not discharge all the duties of the resident 
magistrate, except actually trying prisoners, when 
he might be thought to favour the police. In con- 

u 2 

292 a saxon's remedy 

sequence of the other alterations I have suggested, 
I consider the presence of a stipendiary magis- 
trate on the bench unnecessary, and his salary 
divided among the county inspectors and his 
lieutenants would be a welcome addition to the 
small pay these gentlemen receive. 

I am sure these alterations would give great 
satisfaction to the bar, to the police, and to the 
public generally. " Animals of inferior dignity," 
vide Earl Bussell's pamphlet, would alone be 
discontented at not being allowed to play fan- 
tastic tricks with justice. I have forgotten to 
mention that the clerk of the peace, whose 
duties connected with sessions are very impor- 
tant, is sometimes not a solicitor. I need hardly 
say that no one else is fit to hold the post. 

The petit jurymen at sessions are frequently 
sorely tempted to acquit prisoners accused of 
trivial offences, knowing the punishments are 
often out of all proportion to the crimes : duty 
and inclination have thus a hard contest. As 
chairman of a public body I was obliged to pro- 


secute some fishermen. I only cared for a verdict 
in order to prevent pilfering valuable property. 
The evidence was quite conclusive of the fact, and 
the law was explained by the assistant -barrister ; 
the jury retired, but though it was very late in 
the evening, they did not return ; time passed 
on ; and at length a solitary juryman entered 
the box. As no one else arrived, he was asked 
why he had come there, and replied, very 
naively, it was because he could not stand the 
smoking. On the officer of the court proceeding 
to the jury room, the eleven recusants could 
barely be distinguished through the tobacco 
smoke. Of course they received a strong blowing 
up, particularly when they said they had not 
agreed on their verdict. However, some one 
managed to let them know that the prisoners 
w^ould not be punished, and the verdict of 
" Gruilty" was soon recorded. 

An Irishman of almost any rank will dare 
anything for a few w r hiffs of a short pipe ; and 
barristers have told me of instances where one 

294 a s axon's remedy 

juryman after another has slipped down in the 
box while a long trial has been going on, and 
taken a pull at the " dudheen." 

The grand jury at assizes, in Ireland, consists 
of the same class as in England, with the addi- 
tion of the agents and representatives of county 
magnates. Of course large tenant-farmers and 
agents, who are generally men of considerable 
intelligence and business knowledge, as well as 
of high character, are quite as capable of judging 
the value of evidence as any one, however highly 
placed by fortune ; and, as far as justice is con- 
cerned, it is very well that the Marquis of Many- 
lands and the Earl of Erin should get their 
agents and one or two of their tenants put on 
the grand jury. 

Sir Joseph Littlego, who was unable at school 
to proceed beyond " Musa," and never could re- 
member whether Julius Caesar or "William the 
Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings, and Mr. 
Juniper, who has periodical fits of queerness, 
during which he rolls about his lawn in a state 


of nature under the idea that he is invisible, are 
fortunately preserved from serious errors in ex- 
amining the evidence for the prosecution and 
deciding about true bills by Messrs. Brown, 
Jones, and Eobinson, who have not a rood of 
land they can call their own ; while Mr. Lawless, 
who is always in hot water for assaulting some 
one, and who has forced his agent, Mr. Lick- 
platter, and his cousin, Mr. Hardcase (who are 
his usual colleagues on the bench in the wild 
district where he resides), to resort to all sorts of 
contrivances in order to slur over some of the 
decisions he has pronounced, is obliged to re- 
strain his constant habit of doubting the oaths of 
the police in the presence of Captain O'Donnell, 
formerly in the Queen's Bays, now agent to a 
noble earl, and who will stand no nonsense from 
any one. But the vocations of the grand jury 
are not confined to deciding if the evidence 
against Brian O'Lynn — who was observed taking 
a pair of trousers from a stall by the owner, and 
was forthwith chased and seen to throw away 


a saxon's remedy 

the property by a policeman — is sufficient to 
warrant the judge and petit jury taking him in 
hand, they have also virtually the power of 
taxing the county to an immense extent. I will 
describe how this comes about. 

There are, as far as I am aware, no turnpikes 
in Ireland, and all the roads, bridges, &c, are 
made and repaired by the occupiers of real pro- 
perty, who also pay certain proportions of the 
expense of police, prisons, infirmaries, &c. The 
tax levied for all this is called "county cess," 
and, as I see every one who mentions the subject 
finds fault with the present system, and considers 
the way in which it is levied is anything but a 
" sentimental grievance," I must explain it to 
you. To do this I will imagine you one of my 
countrymen of average ability and education, a 
little uncertain perhaps about the articles "a" 
and "an" in cases where that puzzling letter 
"h" begins the next word, but able to give 
lessons in history, geography, and farming to 
many Irish magistrates, and with a keen sense 


of justice and a belief in " bones" and in folding 
sheep on turnips. You have taken a farm of 
three hundred acres in Dairyshire, at thirty 
shillings an acre, and hold from year to year, as 
leases are not given on the estate. It is known 
that you have a thousand pounds in the bank, 
and have judiciously stocked your farm, and 
you receive a paper and find that you are 
one of the associated cess-payers for your 
barony. Previously to this you have been 
called upon for a rate of one shilling in the 
pound, poor rate, on your farm, valued at four 
hundred pounds per annum, or fifty pounds less 
than the rent, and when you pay the twenty 
pounds the collector explains that you have a 
docket to hand to the landlord, who must allow 
you ten pounds, being half what you paid. This 
you think a very fair thing, and so it is. You have 
also during the year paid one shilling and six- 
pence in the pound for county cess, but perceive 
that, unlike the poor rate, you have no right to 
deduct any of this amount from the rent payable 

298 a s axon's remedy 

to the landlord. When you receive the intima- 
tion that the grand jury has appointed you one 
of the associated cess-payers to meet and signify 
to them at the next assizes what roads, bridges, 
&c, require to be made or repaired, you receive a 
list of all that is intended to be laid before you, 
and your landlord's sub-agent, Mr. D'Arcy, calls 
upon you to draw your attention to the new road 
which you suggested to him would be a great 
improvement to your farm and several others on 
the Dairyshire estate : you and Mr. M'Connell, 
a Scotch tenant, said you would each give five- 
and-twenty pounds towards the making of such 
a road • you perceive that it is proposed that the 
convenience to the Dairyshire tenants shall be 
made at the expense of the barony, and Mr. 
D'Arcy explains that the appended statement 
that Lord Alderney contributes fifty pounds 
means that Mr. M'Connell and you would con- 
tribute that sum. Notwithstanding your keen 
sense of justice, you are not violently shocked at 
finding that a road which is only advantageous 


to half-a-dozen persons is to be paid for, as 
regards five-sixths of the expense, by people who 
will receive no benefit therefrom. Mr. D'Arcy 
thinks the road will be passed, as he has spoken 
to several of the magistrates and cess-payers, and 
points out that you will have to support the 
making of a bridge which is advantageous to the 
Marquis of Manyland's property, and a heavy 
amount for improving a mountain road on the 
estate of Mr. Lawless, in return for their good 

The appointed day arrives, and, in company with 
Mr. M'Connell, you enter the Sessions House at 
Butterville. Six or eight magistrates are present, 
and the proper complement of cess-payers. 

Having been drawn by lot, you are chosen, 
while Mr. M'Connell's name is not among the 
selected number. All this is done fairly enough. 
The county surveyor, who receives four to six 
hundred a year, and has divers assistants at fair 
salaries, goes through the list of projected im- 
provements, and the sums which are proposed to 

300 a saxon's remedy 

be allowed for each repair or new piece of work. 
As far as repairing goes, there is not much to be 
said; the county surveyor often comments on 
the tenders being too high, and the magistrates 
and cess-payers can many of them give you 
valuable information on the subject; but you 
soon become certain of what you have before 
suspected ; namely, that four or five expensive 
jobs are to be perpetrated for the private ad- 
vantage of the same number of people. 

Of the half-dozen magistrates, three are well- 
known to be representatives of your own land- 
lord, the Marquis of Manylands, and the Earl of 
Erin; Mr. Lawless is another, and these four 
gentlemen have each a separate improvement to 
carry, so it is tacitly understood that they will 
support each other. 

The chairman, a gentleman of high character 
and standing, interferes very little, except occa- 
sionally in order to lessen expenses, and old 
Mr. Hunks, the sixth magistrate, a gentleman 
of large property and awful temper, gets that 


in which, he is personally interested passed, and 
then opposes everything till the plain-spoken 
Mr. Lawless calls out, so as to be heard through 
the crowded room (for the sitting is in public), 
" Confound you, Hunks, we are going to make 
a bridge for you, which is of no earthly use to 
anybody except yourself, and now you wont let 
any of us have what we want." This elicits a 
loud laugh, and Mr. Hunks, quitting his seat, 
pushes to the door with scant ceremony, and is 
driven home. 

All the cess-payers, like yourself, are interested 
in one or another of the new roads, &c, except 
one gentleman who farms his own land, but who 
of course is out- voted at every division, and your 
own pet project, as well as the others, is recom- 
mended for the consideration of the grand jury. 
Your duties for the day are over, but very 
likely, partly as a compliment to yourself, as an 
Englishman lately settled in the county, you 
will be chosen to represent the barony at the 
county town, when all the general expenses, such 

302 a s axon's remedy 

as police, gaol, lunatic asylum, &c, are gone into. 
If you are, you will probably find only one or 
two of the most intelligent magistrates able to 
afford you any information about the large sums 
voted away, or at all inclined to doubt their 
general accuracy, and it is by no means impos- 
sible, that the cess-payers appointed from the 
other baronies will leave you and one or two 
magistrates to arrange the whole affair. Nearly 
all the large sums are perfectly correct, and must 
be passed, but repairs of gaols, sessions-houses, 
&c, require more investigating than they gene- 
rally receive. 

At the assizes, before the meeting of the 
grand jury for scrutinizing the charges against the 
prisoners, they finally settle about making the 
improvements sanctioned by the associated cess- 
payers. Now among county gentlemen in Ire- 
land there are many high-minded, intelligent 
men, quite as fit to regulate county business as 
any Englishman, and it must not be thought 
because I have sketched some prominently-bad 



types that there are no good ones ; but there are 
comparatively very few country gentlemen in Irish 
counties, and they would have no chance of suc- 
cessfully opposing projects favoured by the great 
landlords. Therefore your road will be made, 
and the barony saddled with several hundred 
pounds for the benefit of yourself, three other 
farmers, and Lord Alderney. 

Now let us see how this tax, the county cess, 
unjustly presses upon the tenants of Ireland, 
particularly the tenants at will. The grand 
jury, which is composed of landlords and their 
representatives, appoints the associated cess- 
payers. When they meet they can be easily 
out- voted by the magistrates present. A friend 
of mine, a large landholder, told me that on one 
occasion when it was proposed to make a road 
through his land, which the cess-payers gene- 
rally opposed, one of the leviathan proprietors of 
Ireland procured the attendance of seventeen 
magistrates and carried his point. If by any 
chance a job of several thousand pounds is re- 

304 a saxon's remedy 

jected one year, it is pretty sure to be carried the 
next. Thus the associated cess-payers are prac- 
tically of no use in checking unnecessary ex- 
pense, besides which they are often appointed to 
carry special measures in which they have a 
direct interest. 

It must be evident to every one that it is 
gross injustice to make tenants pay for all the 
outlay on roads, &c, landlords choose to sanc- 
tion, and the case is particularly hard where any 
public work, necessary or unnecessary, of a per- 
manent character is undertaken. A tenant at 
will pays extra county cess for several years for, 
we will suppose, a necessary bridge, costing four 
thousand pounds. At the end of that time he 
dies, or quits his farm, owing to the landlord 
raising the rent, or from any other cause, and of 
course the amount he has paid towards the 
bridge is utterly thrown away as far as he is con- 
cerned, although the farm may have increased 
in value by the bridge having opened up mar- 
kets, and lessened the distance from which lime, 
fuel, &c, has to be procured. 



The remedy I would propose for this state of 
things is that the associated cess-payers should 
be elected in the same way as poor-law guardians ; 
and that the final decision upon the new works 
and repairs should be vested in six cess-payers, 
chosen out of each barony, and the same num- 
ber of the grand jury. 

As I hope tenancy without lease will be done 
away with in Ireland, I will only say that, if 
this is not the case, I think landlords not giving 
leases should pay two-thirds of the county cess, 
and half if leases were given. In any arrange- 
ment of this nature I hope the same loop-hole 
will not be left as in the Act about the poor rate. 
It was intended that the landlord could not, even 
by covenant, make his tenant pay more than half 
the poor rate ; but he is now gradually shifting 
his responsibility, and in many instances the 
tenant has to pay the whole. 

Note. — Since writing this chapter, I see one of the judges 
on circuit has remarked on the absence of men of property and 



standing on the grand jury, and noticed that a solicitor 
practising at the sessions, and the governor of the gaol were 
acting thereon. Of course they " represented " some of the 
absent grandees. 

The agent of one of the richest men in Ireland tells me he 
has seen eight out of fourteen of the grand jury (who were ac- 
tually doing the business) solicitors and agents, and ten out 
of the fourteen possessing less than three hundred pounds 
per annum each, apart from their professions. 




Jj^VEBY session of Parliament is marked 
by some discussion on taxation in Ireland, 
and I have no doubt most of my English 
friends consider the Irish have no right to 
complain, but are, if anything, too leniently 

First of all, as regards local taxation, except 
in the larger towns, where of course there are 
the usual rates to pay for lighting, paving, frc, 
there are only the poor-rate and county cess, and 
as I have before remarked, the landlord pays 
half the poor-rate. I have paid as little as 
fivepence in the pound per annum, and as much 

x 2 

30S a saxon's remedy 

as one shilling and sixpence. The dietary in 
workhouses and prisons is on a much lower 
scale than in England ; but as meat cannot be 
generally afforded by the poorer classes, I do not 
think there is much dissatisfaction on this head. 
The Irish have a still greater dislike than the 
English to go into workhouses; and though 
outdoor relief might occasionally be given more 
liberally than it is, where illness is the cause of 
distress, any general system of that description 
would afford dangerous encouragement to beggars 
and idle persons. In Queen's taxes there is 
some advantage given to residents in Ireland. 

There is no inhabited house duty, and no tax 
on horses, carriages, and servants. Thus, if you 
look upon Ireland as part of England, she has 
nothing of which to complain as regards taxa- 
tion ; but as at present she is more like a colony 
in many respects, her representatives have some 
ground for contrasting her position with that of 
Canada, the Channel Islands, &c. 

However, it is in connexion with the recent 


addition of the income-tax, and the increased 
duty on whisky to the previous imposts, that 
she has the most claim to consideration from the 

Whisky was the national drink of the Irish 
people, and they bore the addition of more than 
one-third to the price of their customary bever- 
age much more good-humouredly than English 
workmen would have done ; in fact, I do not 
think Mr. Disraeli dare propose to the House 
any measure whose immediate effect would be to 
raise the pot of porter from threepence halfpenny 
to fivepence halfpenny. 

Nevertheless, as my wish is to draw Ireland 
and England closer together, I am not ad- 
vocating any alteration in taxation. If, however, 
the same is paid, the same advantages ought 
to accrue. 

Many persons are writing down the Lord 
Lieutenancy and advocating a Eoyal Residence 
being established in Ireland. This is very deli- 
cate ground on which to tread. If you can en- 



sure the regular periodical residence of the sove- 
reign in Dublin, and an annual progress through 
a portion of the island, sometimes in one direc- 
tion, sometimes in another, then do away with 
the vice-royalty by all means ; but when her 
present Majesty is unable to preside over the 
Court at St. James's, and shuns gaiety and ap- 
pearances in public, what chance is there of her 
enduring long presentations in Dublin Castle, 
and enthusiastic gatherings, wearisome corpora- 
tion addresses, &c, year after year? 

It is fervently to be hoped that her Majesty 
will ere long give the Irish an opportunity of 
testifying their loyalty, which every one who 
knows the country will guarantee shall be as 
exuberant as that manifested in Scotland ; but 
there is also no doubt that the Irish would not 
be satisfied with anything less than a right 
royal visit. Unlike the Scotch, they would be 
offended if her Majesty went about without any 
state, though of course if the visit were an 
annual one the novelty would wear off, the innate 


good manners, and I may say gentlemanly feel- 
ing of the Irish peasantry, would come into play, 
and her desire for privacy would be understood 
and respected. 

Every one hopes that if her Majesty is unable 
to reside a portion of each year in Ireland, some 
member of the Eoyal Family may do so. Even 
within an hour's ride pf Dublin there is scenery 
as fine as any in the kingdom, where vast tracts 
of mountain might be secured where the deer 
still wander, and where a little more care in pre- 
serving would ensure as good shooting as any in 
Scotland. The air there is free from the hu- 
midity her Majesty disliked at Killarney, and 
the sea is within easy reach for yachting. 

"When a royal residence becomes an accom- 
plished fact, and when loyal Irishmen can each 
year attend the levees of their sovereign in 
Dublin Castle, it is time to talk about doing 
away with the Lord Lieutenant. A great deal 
of nonsense has been written in the public journals 
about tradesmen going to the levees, and their 

312 a saxon's remedy 

wives and daughters to the drawing-rooms. The 
last time I was at a drawing-room there was a 
great assemblage of the oldest nobility and gentry 
in Ireland, and some of the handsomest officers 
in both services ; but by far the grandest looking 
individual (who every one thought must be an 
English duke except for the absence of stars and 
garters) turned out to be a tradesman ; he was 
just the kind of man Henry VIII. and Queen 
Bess would have pronounced " marvellous 
proper and George IV. would have said, 
ought to have ten thousand a year. 

Every one has heard the old story of the tailor 
who was asked for his name by the Master of 
the Ceremonies (before they were written on 
cards, I suppose), and who replied in an under- 
tone, " Don't you know me, sir ? I made jouy 
breeches," and who was thereupon announced as 
" Major Bridges." 

Notwithstanding this, I believe few persons 
attend the levees and drawing-rooms who are in 
retail trade, as we understand the term, and I 



have been assured that neither they nor attor- 
neys are eligible, except as Members of the 
Corporation, or representing some public body. 
But after all, is it not an absurdity to try and 
confine the expression of goodwill towards the 
Eepresentative of Government to the " Upper 
ten thousand !" Of course the balls given by 
his Excellency are more select, though hospitality 
is generally unsparingly exercised by the Lords 
Lieutenant. The expenditure in the city of 
Dublin consequent on the receptions, and the 
numerous entertainments given by the nobility 
and gentry, the Lord Mayor, &c, could ill be 
spared by the citizens, and owing to the decrease 
of hospitality and friendly visiting noticeable 
throughout the island, the gatherings at Dublin 
form almost the only opportunity of social inter- 
course and communication between residents in 
different parts of the country. 

Many years since I read a very clever novel 
called " My Uncle the Curate/' which portrayed 
in admirable manner the worst points of the 

314 a saxon's remedy 

Irish character, particularly their habit of looking 
to the Government on every emergency, and 
blaming it if anything went wrong. I believe 
there has been a great deal of public money ex- 
pended in Ireland: millions were jobbed away 
during the famine, but of late years the contrary 
system has been pursued, in fact, the English 
Grovernment has acted in much the same manner 
as the Marquis of Manylands, and has rejected 
almost every application for assistance, reason- 
able and unreasonable. I have already alluded 
to the widening of Carlisle Bridge, which 
is absolutely necessary, and which would cost 
a very moderate amount; and it is worthy of 
remark, that there is little assistance given to 
anything in the way of arts or sciences ; there 
is no a National Grallery" for paintings, sculp- 
ture, &c, and no Museum worthy of the name. 
I am not going to advocate the State purchasing 
and keeping up the Dublin Exhibition building 
at an exorbitant expense, but I think it might 
be taken at a fair valuation, and a Museum, 


National Gallery of Pictures, &c, formed there. 
I shall discuss educational matters by-and-by, 
but as a great deal has been lately said about 
public money lent to harbours and not repaid, I 
must mention that the amount is altogether 
insignificant when compared with the hundreds 
of thousands of pounds which have been laid out 
on the harbours of the Channel Islands. Except 
on Alderney, and a small bay beyond Mont 
Orgueil Castle in Jersey, I do not in the least 
grudge the outlay, but what shall we say about 
Daunt's Eock, left for so many years after its 
danger had become evident ? There is not one 
safe harbour between Kingstown and Cork, 
where vessels can run in bad weather, though 
this is part of the great highway between Liver- 
pool and America, Canada, &c. 

During the last ten years hundreds of lives, 
and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been 
lost between Wicklow Head and Carnsore Point, 
yet an outlay of fifty thousand pounds would 
have prevented much of this ; and many naval 

316 a saxon's remedy 

authorities have strongly advocated the establish- 
ment of a harbour of refuge. Unless some enormous 
works are to be undertaken, it is difficult to stir up 
Government engineers, whereas what is wanted on 
the east coast particularly is a moderate outlay, 
protection for the fishing, trading steamers, and 
coasting vessels. I fully believe that the ports 
thus improved would repay the expenditure as 
required by the Loan Commissioners, besides 
saving an infinity of valuable lives and property. 
Four poor fellows were lost from one port the 
other day, and sixteen persons are at once thrown 
helpless on private charity or the parish. I have 
known two hundred bodies come ashore after a 
terrible night of storm. I say, therefore, watch 
the public money as carefully as the late Joseph 
Hume ; see that it is only advanced where it will 
be fairly and advantageously employed in pro- 
moting trade and affording facilities for saving 
life and property ; but do not grudge it, and do 
not put difficulties in the way of obtaining it. 
Encourage the realization of the undeveloped 


fishery abounding on the Irish coast ; give con- 
fidence to capital embarked in this trade by pro- 
viding harbours (on good security be it under- 
stood) where vessels can find shelter during sud- 
den storms. 

Speaking of the east coast, I can testify that 
the juvenile population take to the oar and sail 
more readily than to the spade and plough, and 
that if fishing were encouraged, and a few Queen's 
ships paid occasional visits to the coasts, any 
surplus population would soon be profitably 
employed in providing food from a source 
not yet fully explored, or in supplying a want 
that our naval authorities tell us becomes 
more severely felt every year. I dwell more 
especially on this, because I have had some 
experience in the matter, and have found the 
different boards and officials quite ready to 
burst the bonds of " red tape" which hereto- 
fore confined them, and anxious to promote 
expenditure in the direction of permanent im- 
provement when they find private jobbery is not 

318 a saxon's remedy 

at the bottom of every so-called philanthropic 
endeavour to promote the welfare of Ireland. 

We now come to railways, which are in no 
respect an Irish grievance, and with regard to 
which the British Government can only enter- 
tain consideration from motives of State policy, 
and on the understanding that the finances of 
the United Kingdom shall suffer no loss by the 
assumption of their responsibility. 

It is right to explain why the idea should ever 
have been entertained. By this time we are all 
convinced that the proper policy of Government 
as regards railways would have been to make 
certain direct lines north, south, east and west, 
as national lines, and then authorize certain other 
lines to run into these main highways. 

If we had done this, millions of money would 
have been saved from lawyers, surveyors, engi- 
neers, &c, and the public generally would have 
been gainers in a variety of ways. We did not 
do this even in England, and in Ireland some of 
the railways were carried in undesirable places 


where there was little traffic because a celebrated 
engineer delighted in overcoming difficulties, and 
had the usual professional contempt for pecu- 
niary considerations, when these affected share- 
holders only. Nevertheless, the main lines in 
Ireland have not been more disastrous to their 
proprietors than railways generally in England. 
They are, however, all on a small scale, and rail- 
way enterprise is now at a standstill. 

There are at present only about the same 
number of miles open in the whole of Ireland as 
one English company possesses, yet there are 
sixty boards of direction, and six hundred direc- 
tors ! Of course there are sixty secretaries, sixty 
firms of solicitors, and other officers in propor- 
tion. I need not add that there are quarrels 
between the various boards, and that every board 
makes the public suffer, while every railway 
time-table is so managed that the traveller shall 
exactly miss the train which should correspond 
with another railway, and, in fine, that if the Czar 
of Russia, the Emperor Theodore, or the King of 


a saxon's remedy 

Dahomey, played such tricks with their subjects 
as the six hundred railway tyrants do with the 
unhappy people who groan under their rule, they 
would fall victims to the " maladie du pays/' as 
the Emperor Paul did in 1801. 

In some districts they used to charge double 
as much for the conveyance of cattle and sheep 
on the day preceding the weekly market in 
Dublin as on other days, and as much for one 
beast as for a truck full, for one horse as for 
three, and they displayed wonderful ingenuity 
in wording advertisements for trips at cheap 
fares, so that they would read as if applying to 
all trains indiscriminately, or only to one par- 
ticular train as interpreted by them, and the 
English oaths which were sworn on these occa- 
sions, if booked against the directors who caused 
them by the Recording Angel immortalized by 
Sterne, will be a heavy addition to the otherwise 
ponderously loaded scale of their demerits. Of 
course you will understand I am only speaking 
of the directors as " Boards/' for individually I 


have good reason to know that both directors 
and secretaries are courteous and obliging, and, 
as I think I have before remarked, there has 
been far less jobbery in shares and in the forma- 
tion of branch lines to serve private interests and 
give employment to contractors, than we have 
experienced on this side the Channel. However, 
six hundred directors, with large families and 
many friends, are sure to create a great deal of 
loss to shareholders in free passes alone, and it is 
the custom in some parts of Ireland to give all 
kinds of county officials the means of unpaid 
locomotion; any excuse is sufficient to secure a 
free pass for two or three days, and I have 
known the privilege accorded to a gentleman for 
three months, when a couple of weeks would 
have been the proper period. At the same time, 
on some parts of a line, goods will be carried at 
rates that any experienced man is aware cannot 
pay, while on others the charges are so high as 
to amount to a prohibition ; generally speaking, 
the rates both for passengers and goods are 


322 a saxon's remedy 

higher than in England, while the speed is much 

The late Mr. Dargan had a curious theory on 
the subject of fares in Ireland, namely, that no 
Irishman would spend money in railway travel- 
ling unless he was obliged, and that therefore 
the true policy was to charge him a good price 
when he did travel. Several English and Scotch 
traffic managers employed on Irish railways cor- 
roborate Mr. Dargan' s opinion, saying that their 
countrymen have not only less dislike to part 
with coin of the realm, but actually enjoy the 
outing, while an Irishman takes no pleasure in 
travelling for travelling's sake. These opinions 
are entitled to every weight, and they are in 
some measure forced upon our consideration 
when we see how few people travel by first class 
in Ireland, and that many of those who would 
go second class in England habitually use the 
third; however, the second class carriages in 
Ireland are generally very comfortable, and in 
some respects, particularly in summer, are plea- 
santer for gentlemen than first class. 


At the numerous Kail way Reform meetings 
held in Ireland at which I have been present, 
very strong arguments have been adduced by 
the principal merchants and captalists to show 
the advantages which would accrue if Govern- 
ment would buy up the railways. Of course the 
first difficulty will be the price to be given; 
some of the lines pay no dividend, others have 
been recently affected by the same causes which 
have reduced the value of such securities all over 
Europe ; whatever British statesman has to 
settle the question will have a thankless office. 
Eive-and-twenty years purchase on the mean 
dividend of the last three years has been talked 
of as the proper amount to give on dividend- 
paying lines. I fear holders in English and 
Scotch railway stock would be dissatisfied if 
Irish railways were bought up at so high a 
figure ; if twenty-two years purchase were given, 
or ten per cent, more than the market value of 
the stock, three months before the property was 
taken, Irish shareholders ought to be well 

y 2 

324 a saxon's remedy 

satisfied, for I think most proprietors of English 
lines would be glad to have the option of accept- 
ing such terms. There would be some difficulty 
in settling the price of lines unfinished for 
want of funds, and of others which pay no 
dividend at all, and the whole matter would 
have to be managed by high-minded, patriotic 
gentlemen, not liable to be biassed by exagge- 
rated estimates of value, incapable of being 
swayed by private interests, and yet not too 
anxious to drive a hard bargain. These kind of 
gentlemen are not to be got hold of quite so 
easily as loud-voiced agitators. If the Govern- 
ment of the United Kingdom see fit to favour 
Ireland in this manner, for it cannot be regarded 
as an act of justice, I think great benefits will 
follow in many ways. 

There are numerous districts in Ireland where 
railways can be made for four thousand pounds 
a mile, and where the owners of the land will 
gladly give the ground for the line to pass over. 
If a two-feet gauge only is used (which acts 



satisfactorily in the Vale of Ffestiniog, though 
the gradients are very steep), half that sum 
would suffice, and many kinds of mineral and 
agricultural produce would be brought to the 
large towns of Ireland, and even to England, 
whose use is now confined to their immediate 
neighbourhood, or are not utilized at all. 

I wonder during the present inquiry into the 
prices charged by retail tradesmen, the enormous 
profit which must be made on fish in London 
has not attracted attention. Cod fish I could 
buy in Ireland for three shillings each, are 
twenty-five shillings at the West-end; salmon, 
oysters, lobsters, and turbot are twice as dear ; 
if more speedy communication were established 
with the western shores, I believe an almost un- 
limited supply might be obtained, as there is at 
present no sufficient inducement in the way of 
markets to tempt the proper prosecution of the 

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the ad- 
vantages conferred upon a district by opening it 

326 a saxon's remedy 

up for the import of what it requires, and the 
export of what it produces. The extension of 
the railway system to those parts of Ireland 
where small cultivators are still to be found, will 
induce many of these men to take work as navi- 
gators, and show them how much more profit- 
able it is to receive pay for labour done, than to 
starve on a patch of land, and experience shows 
us that when people have become accustomed to 
good wages and generous diet, they will not re- 
turn to a state of privation. At the risk of being 
tedious, I again assure you that the Irish 
peasant is not the fond fool letter writers to the 
Times wish to make him out. If he can get 
beef and porter instead of potatoes and butter- 
milk, he will leave his " ancestral acres 99 and the 
dunghill at the door, and even the pig, and be 
" tethered by the teeth" to the fleshpots of the 

The railways once taken, the difficulty will be 
what to do with them. If they are let to a con- 
tractor to work at certain reduced and uniform 


rates, the fear is that, although he might give 
security, the permanent way, the engines and 
carriages, would all deteriorate, and the service 
be worse performed than it is at present. After 
the failure of Peto and Company, the public 
has no faith in the stability of any contractor. 
If the Government take the management of the 
railways into their own hands, will the work be 
efficiently performed, or will the expenses in- 
crease so that no profit will accrue, and the 
claims for damage, owing to accidents and the 
non-delivery of goods, &c, be augmented ? In 
this case, as it is admitted on all hands that 
the finances of the country must sustain no loss, 
Ireland would have to make good the deficiency, 
which she would say was occasioned by bad 
management. I can only see two ways out of 
tie dilemma ; firstly, a company must be formed 
to work the existing lines, and make certain 
nsw ones, Government fixing the rates and 
guaranteeing four per cent. I believe the stock 
would be taken (and perhaps even three and 

a saxon's kemedy 

a half per cent, would do) by many of those who 
are holders of Irish railway shares, and that the 
very best men might be obtained as directors ; 
the saving in directors', secretaries', and other 
officials' salaries would be very considerable, and 
it is the opinion of men, for whose judgment I 
have every respect, that though there might be 
a slight loss during the first year or two, the 
result of unity of management, reduced fares, 
and increased facilities of communication by 
making cheap branch lines, would soon produce 
more than the four per cent. ; of course there 
would be a strict Government audit and survey 
of the engines, rails, &c. 

The other plan would be to have a special 
Government Irish Eailway Board, which should 
secure the services of a first-rate manager, and 
retain some of the present staff of Irish Eailwatr 
officials, many of whom are well up to their 
work, and who possess business ideas far in ad- 
vance of their present directors. Great speed i$ 
not so much insisted upon in Ireland as in 


England, and it would be indeed disgraceful, if 
among our public men we could not find some 
capable of managing a net-work of lines less 
difficult to superintend than the London and 
North Western system. 

In quitting this important subject, I must ex- 
press a hope that the unwillingness of a few 
directors to lose a little power and influence, 
and the unreasonable value some shareholders 
put upon their property, will not mislead Parlia- 
ment as to the wishes of nine-tenths of the people 
of Ireland. 


One of the Directors sent me the following particulars of 
this curious and interesting line. " The gauge is one foot 
eleven inches ; the average incline 1 in 90 ; the steepest 
gradient 1 in 66 ; the sharpest curve not quite two chains 
radius. The real capital expended is three times the amount 
of the parliamentary, as the dividends were, by consent, used 
to increase the works, so though on the latter the profit is 
26 per cent., the real profit is about 9 per cent." My friend 
recommends about two feet three inches gauge, and thinks 



3000Z. per mile on ordinary mountain and valley lines would 

I feel certain Mr. Spooner, the engineer to this paying and 
romantic little railway, would give any contemplating im- 
prover of Irish mountain districts the same cordial and 
frank information he accorded to me. 





[ NOW come to the most difficult portion of 
my task, namely, suggesting a plan for set- 
tling the land question in Ireland, which shall 
terminate the existing discontent of tenants, and 
at the same time shall not interfere with the 
rights of property. 

Among the numerous writers on this subject 
few have devised any remedy, but have simply 
drawn exaggerated pictures of the wanton cruelty 
and oppression of landlords, and of the honesty 
and industry of tenants, or of the long-suffering 
and kind-heartedness of the former class, and 
the improvidence and idleness of the latter, and 

332 a saxon's remedy 

they have suggested nothing likely to put an 
end to a state of things which every one admits 
ought not to exist. 

It is, however, easy to perceive that those who 
lay most of the blame on the tenants are anxious 
to have no legislation upon the subject, and, in- 
deed, some of them declare that Ireland wants 
nothing except to be let alone ; others suggest a 
royal residence, and a division of the county cess 
between landlord and tenant. Two chief secre- 
taries of Ireland have lately brought forward 
bills for the benefit of tenants. The principal 
feature in Mr. Fortescue's bill was that tenants 
might make improvements under certain con- 
ditions, even against the landlord's wish, and 
receive payment therefor on quitting the farm ; 
in Lord Mavo's bill, the landlord must be a con- 
senting party. 

Mr. Bright' s proposition is that Government 
should purchase the estates of the great ab- 
sentee proprietors, and allow the tenants to 
repurchase, and gradually pay for their farms. 


The far-going tenant-right party in Ireland 
advocate the bold measure of fixity of tenure at 
the present rents being granted. Now, I really 
think the time has gone by for discussing 
either of the two first measures. One, analogous 
to Lord Mayo's, has been tried, and has proved 
quite inoperative ; and supposing a tenant-at-will 
attempted to make an improvement, or what he 
considered such, against the wishes of his land- 
lord, of course he would at once get notice 
to quit. 

Mr. Bright's plan is worthy of more considera- 
tion ; many farmers have saved money, and could 
pay a portion of the purchase-money down, 
and if it could be insured that a large 
body of independent proprietors, farming their 
own land, could be created in Ireland, it would 
be an excellent thing for the country, and a 
great safeguard against agitation and disorder; 
but one can perceive many objections. In the 
first place, there would be great difficulty in in- 
ducing the Houses of Parliament to sanction the 

334 a saxon's remedy 

purchase of the estates ; in the second, the land- 
owners might refuse to sell, except at an exorbitant 
price; in the third place, many of these great 
proprietors are excellent landlords, and their 
tenants are happy and contented in the possession 
of tenant-right, and I do not think that they 
would be better off by being, as it were, com- 
pelled to buy the fee-simple of the land at twenty- 
eight years' purchase on the present rental, which 
it is undoubtedly worth in some instances I could 
mention. Even on estates like the Marquis of 
Manylands', where tenant-right is not acknow- 
ledged, probably Mr. Bright's measure would 
not be considered a boon, for, as I observed in 
describing the management of this property, 
the farmers do not pay the extreme value of the 
land, as improved by them, or within perhaps 
twenty per cent, of it, so that if they had to pay 
interest on the purchase money, which would of 
course be reckoned at the extreme value, and had 
to redeem part of that purchase money every 
year, they might have hard work to meet their 


engagements. Lastly, there would be the awk- 
ward necessity of dealing only with solvent 
people who possessed large farms, and could give 
such security as would put default out of the 
question — in which case great dissatisfaction 
would arise — or Government would have among 
their debtors needy, lazy, and improvident per- 
sons, who of course exist in Ireland as well as in 
England, who would neglect to pay the in- 
stalments on interest and purchase money as 
they had agreed to do, and who would have to 
be ejected, thus putting the Government in a 
most unpleasant and unthankful position. 

Taking all these things into consideration, I 
am reluctantly compelled to admit that this pro- 
posal of Mr. Bright's must be so long delayed, 
and would require so much modification before 
it could be passed, that its efficiency in the 
present state of affairs in Ireland is more than 
doubtful. I would, however, seriously recom- 
mend it to the attention of landlords, and beg 
them where they have tenants farming largely, 


to give them an opportunity of buying the land 
they hold by gradual payments, and thus found 
a new race of country gentlemen, resident on 
their own property, and examples, in their own 
persons, of freedom from the territorial prejudice 
on the part of the landlord, and of successful 
industry on the part of the tenant. 

We now come to the Eadical proposition of 
fixity of tenure, that is to say, that on a certain 
morning every tenant shall arise and walk over 
his land with the knowledge that, as long as he 
pays the rent, he and his sons after him cannot 
be turned out on any pretext whatever. Of 
course it would be easy to qualify this measure if 
it were passed with the addition that the tenant 
should not subdivide the land, transfer, or under- 
let without written permission from the land- 
lord, or (in the case of underletting) without the 
purchaser of the tenant's interest giving reason- 
able security for the payment of rent. 

Now, I should be very sorry to see this 
measure passed ; it is against all my received 


ideas of the rights of property, and it would be 
a gross injustice in many individual cases — no- 
tably in such as I have sketched in describing 
the Earl of Erin's property ; but I have no doubt 
whatever that something of the kind will be 
done unless a comprehensive measure for settling 
the land question speedily becomes law. Ireland, 
as I have repeatedly observed, is not like Eng- 
land; even Tories of the old-fashioned stamp, 
like Alison, have been struck with the fact, that 
the great landowners hold by gifts from the 
Crown, and from confiscations ; and that these 
circumstances are well known and commented 
upon by all, particularly by the descendants of 
the original possessors. That the lands were 
given on the understanding that the recipients 
would live on their property, colonize it with 
English, and spread the Protestant religion, is a 
well-established fact. They have entirely neg- 
lected all these requirements, and they have 
failed even to tranquillize the country where 
they have received so splendid an inheritance. 



They have neither lived on their land, nor satis- 
fied their tenants who have cultivated and im- 
proved it. In practice, many rich companies and 
some liberal landlords have adopted the principle 
of fixity of tenure. The party is hourly in- 
creasing which proclaims that it is time the lords 
of the soil should be contented with their present 
large incomes, and should not covet to have their 
immense possessions continually increased by the 
industry and the thrift of the occupiers of the 

Let no one say the Legislature would never 
sanction such a measure. Look at the his- 
tory of the last forty years ! Catholic eman- 
cipation was carried in spite of the prejudices, 
the convictions, and even the consciences of the 
most influential persons in the realm, carried, 
too, by those who had persistently opposed it for 
many years. The first Eeform Bill was passed 
in spite of a majority against it in the House of 
Lords ; in some respects it was confiscation, for 
little boroughs were disfranchised for which 


large sums had been given, because they pos- 
sessed the privilege of returning members to 
Parliament ; then came the agitation about the 
Corn-Laws. I remember well, when very young 
and enthusiastic, canvassing for a supporter of 
Earl Bussell's eight-shillings' duty after a 
market dinner. About a hundred farmers were 
assembled, intelligent, well-to-do men, who all 
admitted the Corn-Laws must be altered, but 
they unanimously declared that if the duty were 
less than sixteen shillings per quarter on every 
kind of grain they must give up their farms, and 
the land would go out of cultivation. One really 
hardly likes to recal the abuse that was bestowed 
upon Messrs. Cobden and Bright, and the Anti- 
Corn-Law League, not only by the agricultural 
journals, but by those more influential and ad- 
vanced. I first went to hear those gentlemen 
(Corn-Law agitators, as they were called) under 
mental protest as it were, and with the feeling 
that I was encouraging something anti-constitu- 
tional and revolutionary. Yet, what occurred? 

z 2 

340 a saxon's remedy 

Earl Russell's proposition for an eight-shilling 
duty was rejected by Sir Eobert Peel and the 
Conservatives, in walked these farmer's friends, 
who forthwith clothed themselves with the entire 
panoply of the much-abused Anti-Corn-Law 
League, and passed a measure beyond what the 
Whigs had dreamed of. The agriculturalists in 
Lincolnshire swore many bucolic oaths at the 
party which had left them in the lurch, and Earl 
Derby and Mr. Disraeli, after Lord Greorge 
Bentinck's death, appeared to be the only up- 
holders of Conservatism. 

Earl Russell has again tried his hand at a 
Reform Bill, and again it has been pronounced 
too levelling; again, too, the bulwarks of the 
Constitution have been strengthened by the ac- 
cession of the Conservative party, and again 
these gentlemen have found, that the demands 
for Radical measures have been so amplified, that 
they have gone beyond Earl Russell and even 
Mr. Bright, and carried a measure which none 
but Chartists would have imagined possible a 


few years since. There was a time when a 
moderate duty on corn would have satisfied 
everyone, when a franchise for lodgers paying 
four shillings a week, and householders eight 
pounds a year, would have set the question of 
Eeform at rest for the next twenty years, and I 
believe the measure I am about to suggest will 
content the majority of Irish tenants, and prevent 
further agitation, if it be speedily enacted ; but I 
beg that party in Ireland who adopt the extreme 
views of what they call the rights of property, 
and who insist that they shall be entitled to 
increase their rents at pleasure, if from adven- 
titious causes, or the exertions of the occupiers 
of the land, its value shall be enhanced, to take 
warning from the past. The first Eeform Bill 
was thrown out again and again, but it was 
carried at last; nearly all the eloquence and 
power of Lords, Commons, and journalists were 
arrayed against Messrs. Cobden and Bright, but 
these Manchester manufacturers pushed their 
way onwards through ridicule and vituperation. 


a s axon's remedy 

and gained their point. Finally, the two sur- 
viving pillars of Conservatism, Earl Derby and 
Mr. Disraeli, with their own pet upholder of 
Constitutionalism, the Earl of Mayo, have let 
in a flood of Democracy which may overwhelm 
their pretensions in 1869. 

The plan I am about to propose is founded on 
a well-known axiom that landlords of enlightened 
minds are fond of propounding — namely, that 
they and their tenants are in partnership ; they 
finding the land and the tenants the capital and 
the personal management. This statement is 
always received with great applause ; but in 
Ireland the partnership is very different from 
that which exists between landlords and tenants 
in Italy and some other countries. As far as I 
have been able to understand the matter, the 
landlord in Italy, besides providing the land, 
pays for the grain that is to be sown or for part 
of it, and the produce is equally divided; and I 
should judge that the agent who arranges each 
party's share makes rather a good thing of it. 


In talking with the agents I could not make out 
that the tenant, if industrious, was ever com- 
pelled to dissolve partnership. Now, in Ireland 
he has no voice in the matter. It is perfectly 
idle to say that a good tenant in either Ireland 
or England is never ejected by his landlord. 
Even in England I know a gentleman who had 
made a property, purchased by his landlord for 
a thousand pounds, worth four hundred per an- 
num (which sum he regularly paid), whose rent 
was increased so much that he was obliged to 
leave the place where many thousand pounds of 
his money had been invested, and some scores of 
families (his workpeople) were reduced to pe- 
nury. "When he was fairly got rid of, the factories 
were let for another purpose at a lower rent. 
With many rich men gratifying private pique 
weighs far more than, what is to them, small 
pecuniary gains. In Ireland, quite recently, a 
friend of mine inherited a handsome domain and 
mansion, built and beautified by his father, but 
the lease of which had nearly expired. He had 

344 a saxon's remedy 

a freehold property adjacent, and was, of course, 
anxious to renew the lease. The terms on which 
alone the lease would be renewed were so out- 
rageously unfair and impossible to be complied 
with that his family and friends persuaded him 
not to renew. Some Irishmen are peculiarly 
constituted ; and though this gentleman was 
perfectly easy in his circumstances, and fortunate 
in possessing an affectionate wife and children, 
a bold rider and a good shot, he could not endure 
to leave the place where he was born and where 
he had seen his family growing up around him. 
He was seized with a species of nervous disorder 
and died within a week of quitting the house so 
endeared to him by old recollections. In both 
the instances I have quoted unreasoning dislike 
and love of power occasioned the death of the 
object against whom they were displayed, and in 
the latter instance the house vacated has never 
been relet. Providence has cast me, and I trust 
most of you, my fellow countrymen, of less sen- 
sitive metal, but there are some Englishmen and 


many Irishmen who become so attached to their 
boyhood's home, and are so keenly alive to being 
unjustly deprived of it, that they cannot survive 
the shock of removal and the bitter sense of in- 
jury they have sustained. Where the peasant 
takes the life of the man he regards as the doer 
of the grievous wrong, the gentleman yields up 
his own. If you ask me why these extraordinary 
dislikes are entertained towards particular tenants 
I can tell you no more than I can why Legree 
flogged his best negro, Uncle Tom, to death — 
why carters often have an aversion to and ill use 
some especial horse in a team — why there are 
often one or two boys at school who, without 
being more idle or tiresome than the rest, are 
continually singled out for tasks and punish- 
ments by their masters — why also the boys did 
not like Dr. Fell ! If a Lancashire man had a 
factory to let I do not think he would induce 
any one to take it, fill it with machinery, and 
establish a trade, unless his tenant had a lease 
or otherwise felt quite secure of undisturbed 

346 a s axon's remedy 

possession. Of course such, things may occur, 
but in a case where I am the landlord and the 
lease is nearly out, the tenant goes on with the 
apparent conviction that his business trans- 
actions are not likely to be interrupted. Were 
he in Ireland he would be in a state of nervous 

Well, then, my proposition is, that the land- 
lord and tenant shall in reality be partners on 
fair terms ; that every tenant shall be entitled to 
a lease of thirty- one years from the present time, 
at the present rent, if it is not less than twenty 
per cent., or a fifth beyond Griffith's valuation : 
when it is below that sum, which is the general 
poor-law valuation, the landlord shall have the 
power of raising it to that extent ; if it is higher, 
of course the existing rate will not be interfered 
with. In every instance, the tenant should have 
the right of demanding a lease if his holding 
was not under ten pounds poor-law valuation. 
This lease should have the usual covenants to 
prevent under-letting, assignment of interest ex- 



cept to a responsible party, to uphold existing 
buildings in a good state of repair, and to farm 
the land according to the rules of good husban- 
dry. There should be a proviso, that at the 
termination of the lease the tenant, or his repre- 
sentative, should be entitled to a new lease of 
thirty-one years, on paying an additional rent of 
half the increased value of the land ; thus if it 
had increased in value, by good cultivation or 
any other cause, from thirty shillings per acre to 
two pounds, the tenant would be entitled to have 
a lease at thirty-five shillings. I do not appre- 
hend there would be any difficulty in the land- 
lord and tenant arriving at the increased value 
of the farm; if there were, it could be easily re- 
valued by the Poor-Law Board ; and supposing 
it had been let at twenty per cent, over the pre - 
vious valuation, it would be re-let at half the 
increased valuation. To make my meaning 
plain, the present poor-law valuation is twenty 
shillings an acre, it would be let to a tenant at 
one-fifth more, or twenty-four shillings an acre ; 

348 a saxon's remedy 

in thirty-one years the poor-law valuation would 
be thirty shillings an acre (supposing such in- 
crease to have taken place), of which the land- 
lord would be entitled to charge five shillings ; 
therefore the rent would then be twenty-nine 
shillings an acre. At the end of each thirty-one 
years, the tenant would be entitled to renewal 
on the same terms : and thus the landlord and 
tenant would really be co-partners, dividing any 
increased value. 

This would dispose of all tenantcies at will. 
In cases where leases for lives or years already 
exist, the tenant should have the option of con- 
verting his lease into one for thirty-one years. 
Of course it would be necessary to reckon the 
years already existing in his favour, and to value 
the probable duration of the lives. Any insu- 
rance office could regulate such matters as these ; 
but if it were thought more desirable to let the 
present years and lives run out, I would give 
the tenant the option of taking a thirty-one 
years' lease at the end of his present term, at 


half the increased value of his holding, from the 
rent now paid. Thus, if a tenant held a lease 
for lives, only one of which was in being, at ten 
shillings an acre, and the farm had become 
worth two pounds per acre when the life dropped, 
he would obtain a renewal at one pound five 
shillings per acre, dividing the increased rental 
of thirty shillings per acre with the landlord. 
The principle on which I proceed is, that every 
tenant shall be entitled to fixity of tenure as 
long as he pays his rent, cultivates his farm pro- 
perly, does not subdivide his holding beyond 
any present arrangement permitted by his land- 
lord, and gives the latter half the increased 
value of the farm every thirty- one years. I see 
no difficulties in this arrangement which may 
not be easily surmounted. 

Of course, looking to the future we may hope 
that some land now farmed might become more 
valuable for building purposes, &c. In such 
cases, I would give the landlord the right to sell, 
dividing with the tenant everything over twenty 

350 a s axon's remedy 

years 5 purchase of the rent of the land. Thus, 
supposing four acres of a farm let at two pounds 
an acre became worth a hundred pounds an acre, 
the landlord should have the right to sell upon 
paying the tenant thirty pounds per acre; he 
would himself retain, firstly, forty pounds per 
acre, twenty years' purchase of the rental of forty 
shillings an acre, and then thirty pounds per 
acre half the extra value. In every case, I would 
make it incumbent upon the landlord to give six 
months' notice to the tenant of his intention to 
sell at the stated price, so that the latter might 
purchase if he pleased, and that in any case he 
might have time to arrange about his crop. 
Necessarily the rent upon that portion would 
thenceforth be deducted. Now this plan of part- 
nership between the landlord and tenant I have 
talked over with some agents of very large pro- 
perties in both England and Ireland, and they tell 
me that in renewing leases they practically adopt 
this idea. In some dealings I had with a great 
London company, they appeared to act on this 



principle ; and where I am landlord on my own 
account, or as trustee for others, I shall be quite 
satisfied to grant new leases at half the increased 
value of the property. Nevertheless, I am not 
such a believer in my own infallibility as not to 
be aware that some objections might be advanced 
against it. 

Lord Clanricarde, and other noblemen, may 
say that their tenantry are so delighted with the 
present system, and have such confidence in their 
landlords that they would rather be without 
leases. In that case, these confiding individuals 
can remain as they are; my proposal will not 
compel them to take leases. 

Some tenants will say that they ought to have 
all the advantage of their own improvement ; to 
these I reply that they get the half of any 
adventitious increase in the value of their land 
from extended railway communication, esta- 
blishment of mines or manufactures in the 
neighbourhood, &c, and that, in contemplating 
a partnership, both parties must sacrifice some 


a saxon's remedy 

selfish views. Other tenants may say they 
ought to farm as they please, and not be bound 
by particular rules of husbandry ; to these men 
I would say, My plan is twofold. I wish to 
protect you against your landlords, and I wish 
to protect the landlords against you. The land- 
lord cannot turn you out, and you shall have no 
power to lessen the value of his property. It is 
necessary for the welfare of yourself and your 
family that you should not take three corn crops 
running out of the land, nor sell your hay and 
straw, nor plough up fine old meadow land just as 
you please. By arrangement, some of these things 
may be done ; but there are idle, improvident, 
reckless fellows among you, just as there are 
exacting, overbearing, and unreasoning landlords. 
My plan is to make both parties act fairly and 
honourably. If all landlords were just and con- 
siderate, and all tenants improving and industri- 
ous, this book need not have been written : but it 
is from the lords of the soil, not the cultivators, 
that my plan will meet most opposition. 


Of course, the first thing will be that it interferes 
with the rights of property. Now, I deny that 
altogether. Nearly all the land in Ireland was 
given to the ancestors of those who at present 
hold it on the implied conditions of their keeping 
the island tranquil, and making it Protestant. 
They have certainly not done the latter, and even, 
at the present moment, that act which is the 
safeguard of liberty (the Act of Habeas Corpus) 
is suspended. But I will go much further than 
that, and say that, with a few exceptions, the 
Irish landlords, as a class, have laid out less 
money in useful improvements, have been less 
patriotic in giving their time and risking their 
money in increasing the prosperity of com- 
munities with which they are intimately con- 
nected, than any public-spirited Englishman can 

My lips are sealed about matters in which I 
have acted in a public capacity, and the great 
man of my native county almost emulated Daniel 
Dancer, and, I believe, expired in the act of 

A A 

354 a s axon's remedy 

counting his money ; but in Ireland I have been 
perfectly aghast at the short-sighted illiberality 
displayed by wealthy landowners in dealing with 
works of public utility. I wish some of those 
members of the House of Lords who speak about 
the agricultural machinery and improved breeds 
of cattle and sheep they have introduced among 
their tenantry, would tell us what harbours they 
have rendered more secure, what watering-places 
they have established, what towns they have 
benefited by introducing gas-works or water- 
works, by building convenient cottages for the 
labouring classes, or by fostering manufactures. 
I wish they would tell us where the towns are 
in which they have built market-houses, or 
schools, or done anything calling for the expen- 
diture of time and money. 

Surely noblemen who derive the immense 
incomes many Irish proprietors enjoy from 
estates their ancestors received in the hope they 
would regenerate the country, should be able to 
point out something they~have done more worthy 


the gifts they have inherited, than a few threshing 
machines and sundry bulls and rams. Let us, 
by all means, have a list of what Irish proprie- 
tors have achieved. I believe it will take a 
very short time reciting, and will compare 
unfavourably with what two Irishmen who 
began life as poor boys managed to effect. 

Perhaps the landlord party will try to get rid 
of my proposition, or any similar one, by saying 
they will consent to an act that shall give the 
tenant compensation for permanent improve- 
ments, by which, of course, they mean drainage, 
farm-buildings, &c. Now, a measure of this kind 
would only be a palliative. Of course it would 
be accepted; but agitation would re-commence, 
for Irish tenants would not be satisfied. Allow- 
ances for improvements, mean allowances when 
the tenant is ejected ; and every Englishman who 
reads this, may rest assured that the great body 
of Irish tenantry, Protestant and Catholic, will 
not rest contented as long as they are liable to 
be put out of their holdings for any cause 
a a 2 

356 a saxon's kemedy 

except the non-payment of rent, and neglect of 
the usual covenants necessary for the mainte- 
nance of the property in good condition. I have 
not the pleasure of knowing any of the tenants 
who Lord Clanricarde says are quite satisfied as 
they are, but I have heard influential Protestants, 
holding large farms under a good landlord, 
remark what I have just stated, and no man is 
better able than his lordship to estimate the 
value of a declaration of contentment made by 
an Irish tenant to his landlord. 

Let there be no mistake about this matter. 
The Irish tenantry, as a body, big and little, 
Protestant and Catholic, will never rest con- 
tented as long as caprice or avarice can break up 
their homes, and rob them of the interest they 
conceive they possess in their holdings. As I 
hope this book may be generally read, and freely 
criticized by many who are not agriculturists, I 
will state why a measure which only deals with 
permanent improvements such as drainage and 
buildings, is altogether unjust to the tenant. 


In Ireland, when a lease is likely to fall in 
and a new one is not agreed upon, or when a 
tenant is improvident, the land is run out — 
that is, the pasture land is mown, and the arable 
land is cropped till nothing more can be got out 
of it. Supposing you were entering on a farm of 
this description, as I did on one I purchased 
twelve years ago, you must either buy manure, 
or hay, corn, linseed-cake, &c, to feed cattle and 
sheep in order to make it : for two or three years, 
according to the nature of the land and your own 
knowledge of farming, you would actually sus- 
tain a loss ; as your land came round you would 
have to consider whether it would pay you better 
to be a grazier, laying all your farm gradually 
down in grass, or whether you would farm on the 
four-course system, growing cereals, green crops, 
clover, &c. If you did the latter, there would 
always be a considerable portion of your land 
which had been manured the previous year, or 
the year before that, and if you were a judicious 
manager and cultivated your land as you ought, 

358 a saxon's remedy 

your farm would be worth from ten shillings to 
a pound an acre more than when you got it; 
and without reckoning good- will at all, the un- 
exhausted manure in the land should be worth 
several pounds an acre. Now, under the head 
of permanent improvements you would not be 
entitled to sixpence if you were ejected. In 
some counties in England you would be liberally 
paid, but at present in Ireland nothing is 
allowed, which I think accounts for a great deal 
of bad husbandry. But supposing you turned 
the greater portion of your farm into grass, and 
after feeding sheep and young cattle found your 
land so improved that it would fatten good-sized 
beasts, you would have spent many years in 
arriving at such a pitch of perfection, and ex- 
pended a great deal of money in top-dressing, 
&c ; you would at least have doubled the value 
of your farm, as I have in several instances 
doubled the value of land I have purchased. 
Well, when you had done this, if you were 
ejected, you would not be entitled to anything, 


under any law past or projected; your landlord 
would take the farm which you had received in 
an exhausted state, and which you had rendered 
fertile and profitable, and would either keep it 
in his own hands, or let it for perhaps two 
pounds an acre more than you paid or than any 
one would give when you took it, and you would 
have to go elsewhere. Can any one wonder that 
Irish tenants will not be satisfied with an Act 
which would allow injustice of this kind to be 
perpetrated ! But I think it can be shown that 
the landlords will be the greatest gainers by the 
plan I propose. "Where land is held by lease 
for years or lives and no renewal is arranged, it 
is systematically run out and exhausted ; and 
when it comes into the landlord's hands there is 
a great prejudice excited against any one who 
takes it to the exclusion of the former possessor. 
As by good management you may double the 
letting value of land, so you may " salt it for the 
landlord" (as the saying is) to such an extent 
that its letting value is reduced one-half, and, if 

360 a saxon's remedy 

yon prefer going off to America withont paying 
the last year's rent, to hanging abont the old 
place and warning any would-be tenant that he 
had better not take it as you have been ill- 
treated, every one will assist you to the best of 
his or her ability in your evasion. Again, 
though the written law is strongly in favour of 
the landlord, that which is unwritten is all for 
the tenant. His advocate waxes eloquent and 
bold in the court of law, the landlord's seems 
dull and dispirited, while the judge or assistant- 
barrister will strain every point in the tenant's 
favour and criticize with preternaturally sharp 
eyes the arguments brought forward by the 

No men in the world do their duty more 
nobly than the Irish judges ; but the feeling in 
these cases is with the tenant. As for the juries, 
their bias is so unmistakeable that any solicitor 
you consult in reference to a dispute with a 
tenant will tell you to avoid law if possible. 
The late Master of the Eolls once quoted an in- 


stance of a tenant illegally dispossessed obtain- 
ing damages larger tlian the fee-simple value of 
the farm from which he had been ejected. In a 
recent case, where the tenant swore she had a 
promise of a lease, no one who heard the eloquent 
words of the Chief Justice commenting on the 
fact of the landlord not being in court to deny 
this assertion, could fail to perceive that the poor 
and oppressed have powerful advocates on the 
bench. Even the police seem less sharp when 
an act of injustice is revenged ; and I remember 
the friends of a landlord (who was wounded 
nearly to death some years since), amongst 
whom was a county inspector, when I after- 
wards talked with them of the occurrence, 
seemed very little surprised, and not much 
shocked at the outrage ; and dwelt more on the 
harshness of the injured man than on the 
heinousness of the crime of which he was the 
victim. Like the Corsicans, the Irish sometimes 
call murder justifiable vengeance. 

I have known a man sell the interest in his 

362 a saxon's remedy 

farm and then refuse to leave it, the landlord and 
purchaser received by the tenant with loaded 
pistols before him, and completion of the bargain 
refused till more money was given. Many 
other most reprehensible acts of tenants are con- 
stantly occurring. It is these kind of things 
which will be stopped by the plan I have 
proposed, for then an end will be put to the 
sympathy that seems, somehow, to be felt for all 
tenants, properly evicted, as well as unjustly 
evicted. Those who do not pay their rent and 
farm badly get some of the pity which should 
only be given to the really oppressed tenant. 

Prevent the possibility of eviction, except for 
misconduct in these essential points, and judges, 
juries, lawyers, and the population generally will 
abolish that unwritten law which is still so power- 
ful in Ireland. When you have settled the land 
question you will have Ireland tranquil, and then 
we shall see an immediate rise in the value of 
land, and I believe a great increase of prosperity. 

Any one who denied that Ireland had made a 



great advance in many essential particulars 
during the last twenty years would be wilfully 
blind to undeniable facts and figures ; but it 
would be equally absurd to deny that, since the 
Fenian conspiracy has been developed, the value 
of land and house property has deteriorated, and 
there has been an increased dislike to embark 
largely in manufactures or other industrial occu- 
pations. When every one is waiting, and watch- 
ing, and expecting, the steady hard-work of life 
is unfavourably affected. 

Of course the Church question will have to be 
settled; but if you gave the Eoman Catholic 
priests everything they required to-morrow, they 
would tell you that there would be no cordial 
feeling between England and Ireland until the 
land question w r as finally disposed of, and that 
the only way in which it could be so arranged 
would be by the punctual and industrious tenant 
having fixity of tenure in some shape. I wall 
go even further, and say that if the most influ- 
ential of the Irish priesthood had to determine 

364 a saxon's remedy 

which of the questions should be first disposed 
of, they would immediately request that the secu- 
lar matter under consideration should receive the 
earlier attention of the legislature. They would 
also tell you (and I believe every agent to large 
estates in Ireland would do the same) that the 
moment security of tenure was accorded to re- 
spectable tenants, the rent would be as safe as 
money in the funds, and that the man who held 
his land on these terms would be a rigid up- 
holder of the cause of law and order. I speak 
within compass when I say that in a very short 
time land would be worth a fifth more in the 
market than it is at present, and those country- 
houses now unlet and going to ruin, of which 
thousands are scattered throughout Ireland, would 
be again filled, if not by country gentlemen, at 
any rate by wealthy men who had prospered in 
trade or agriculture. 

I should, perhaps, in concluding this subject, 
remark, that the tenant-right which exists in 
Ulster is in a very unsatisfactory state in the 


eyes of both landlords and tenants. It appears 
to vary in different districts, and even on different 
properties; so that I presume this division of 
Ireland might be fairly included with the other 

Thus, for the whole of the island, and for all 
its inhabitants, for the sake of the landlords as 
well as for the tenants, an Act, comprehensive 
and conclusive, about which neither party can 
hereafter agitate, should at once be passed. Let 
the Legislature do their duty, in accordance with 
the requirements of the age, as when they enacted 
the immediate and total repeal of the obnoxious 
corn laws, and when they passed what is tanta- 
mount to universal suffrage in 1867. The ob- 
structive class might go through the old formula 
of so cramping their leader, now Mr. Disraeli, as 
to compel him to propose a trumpery measure 
which would be indignantly rejected, and Mr. 
Gladstone, replacing him, might next session in- 
troduce a bill somewhat similar to that which I 
now advocate. This might also be rejected, and 

366 a s axon's remedy 

then it would come to pass that Mr. Disraeli 
would have to tell his supporters that the time 
had gone by for half-measures, that a party was 
growing up even in England which was tho- 
roughly sick and weary of the eternal Irish 
squabble, and which would rather hand over the 
settlement of Irish matters to a Parliament held 
in Stephen's Green than prolong the endless dis- 
cussion. This game might be played by the men 
who will never realize the fact that to-day is not 
as the time of their grandfathers, but that in 
1869 members will be returned to the House of 
Commons pledged to support measures connected 
with Ireland far in advance of what I propose. 
Ireland is the question of the day ; candidates on 
the hustings in England as well as in Ireland 
will have to bid against each other, where the 
votes of those whose sympathies are with the 
tenant have to be secured. Can any one doubt 
what the result will be ? 

To you, my English friends, who may not have 
invested money in Ireland, nor devoted yourselves 


to the study of the people, their character, and 
their causes for discontent, as I have done, I say 
emphatically the question is as important as it is 
to those who have property in the island. 

When there is chronic discontent in Ireland, 
reckless adventurers, to whom agitation is a trade, 
do not confine their baneful efforts to that country, 
but project schemes of murder and violence 
amongst you, and find ready dupes in a few of 
the immense Irish population which exists in 
every large town in England ; who believe also 
that they are serving their country when, at any 
sacrifice of life, they aid the escape of desperadoes 
from justice. 

Ireland, prosperous and contented, means that 
very few soldiers are required to keep order there, 
and that, in case of war with any foreign Power, 
every man may be safely trusted to arm against the 
common foe, even as we should all be ready to 
volunteer in England. 

Ireland, moody and discontented, means that 
we not only are without hundreds of thousands 

368 a s axon's remedy 

of ardent friends and fellow-countrymen, but have 
an uncertain neighbour whose motives require 
watching, and who would be a source of weakness 
in our hour of need. Insist, then, at once on a 
generous policy. Take the matter into your own 
hands and terminate the long reign of confisca- 
tion, misrule, and coercion by an Act like what 
I propose, which will entitle the man who, by 
the sweat of his brow, makes the land he holds 
more productive, and his home more comfortable, 
to continue in their enjoyment as long as he pays 
for their occupation. 

Note. — I wrote to a large landed proprietor in the North, to 
ask his views on certain subjects, which views I was aware 
would be perfectly different from mine. I give them shortly 
as the evidence of what a very sensible well-informed Pro- 
testant land owner thinks ought tp be done. The instance 
he gives of a small portion of his property being improved, 
shows the necessity of passing such an Act as I have sug- 
gested. It also shows that Irish tenants will improve and 
reclaim land, and my correspondent would, I feel certain, 
accept my proposal as a fair one. 

" I am seised of a townland in I ; the arable part was 

let to tenants about sixty years ago for 160Z. per annum. 



This arable land was scattered through a large bog ; this 

bog is now nearly all reclaimed. When Mr. dies this 

townland will readily let for 350Z. to 450Z. per annum. 
Now are these men to remain at the present rent, or at what 
rent? Are these rents to be ascertained from lands ad- 
joining, or are said lands to be let according to my rents ? 
What is wanted for Ireland is a larger number of resident 
gentry. Whenever a man resided out of Ireland, his name 
should be struck from the roll of Magistrates, and from all 
Boards, Poor-law, Hospital, Railway, &c, and his place 
should be filled by another : thus new men would be sure of 
obtaining legitimate influence. 

" In one way England owes Ireland many millions. It is 
in the value of men reared till manhood in Ireland, who then 
take their profitable labour to England, and who often find 
their way back to their native island when old and infirm, 
so that we in Ireland rear them before, and keep them when 
past, work. I wish some of these millions were profitably 
employed in Ireland." 

B B 



""yj^E now arrive at the questions I have left to 
the last, because they are to my mind the 
most difficult to solve. 

Gladly would I follow the lead of grumblers 
and agitators, and while demonstrating the effects 
of the present system (as I have done in a 
previous chapter), warn you of the danger and 
injustice of leaving things as they are, and 
without saying how best to effect a change, dilate 
on the necessity of giving to Ireland educational 
advantages acceptable to all, and perfect equality 
in religious endowments. 

Unfortunately, I can never let a question rest 
until I have thoroughly exhausted the arguments 
on both sides and made up my mind upon it ; 


and as, in the question of landlords and tenants, 
I have satisfied myself that, disguise the matter 
as they may, and bring forward instances of bad 
farming as often as they please, still it is the 
determination of the landlords to reserve to 
themselves the right of profiting by the exer- 
tions of their tenants, that makes them averse to 
give the said tenants an interest in their farms ; 
so I have made up my mind that it is in reality 
the landlord, and not the tenant, who pays the 
tithe rent-charge. 

Surely the practical way in which to look at 
all debated questions is from their actual and 
not from their theoretical points of view. I 
know, as a seller of sheep, that they have fallen 
from a third to a quarter in price ; but though 
political economists assure me I must get a pro- 
portionate decrease in the price of saddles of 
mutton, my butcher's bill does not show it. I 
know for three hundred fleeces of wool I should 
receive little more than half the sum I did two 
years since, but my tailor's bill has not decreased. 
b B 2 

372 a s axon's remedy 

/ In like manner, if the tithe rent-charge were 
abolished to-morrow, the tenants would not 
benefit in any way. There may be landlords who 
would immediately allow their tenants their exact 
proportion, but in a general way this would not 
be thought of or expected, and would be of no 
practical use to the tenant. 

If a gentleman worth three thousand pounds 
per annum pays eighty to a hundred pounds a 
year tithe rent-charge, what would that be divided 
amongst the tenants ? 

When I purchased property I reckoned the 
tithe-rent as a charge upon the land like any 
other ; and if you, my friends, were buying land 
you would give eight hundred or a thousand 
pounds less if a charge of forty pounds per annum 
existed on the estate. 

If you had to sell land you would find exactly 
the same estimate formed of this tithe-rent, and 
may therefore conclude that the landlord pays 
the clergy. Thus I do not think the Catholic 
tenants are badly used, though I can see that 


landlords of that persuasion are ; and it seems to 
me that a charge of two and a half to five per 
cent, upon Protestant landlords, whose tenants 
are all or nearly all Eoman Catholics, is a very 
heavy tax, and one of which they have a right 
to complain. 

As I pay at this rate and none of my tenants 
attend the church, where one of the best and 
most liberal clergymen in Ireland preaches, I 
have a right to speak upon the subject ; and I 
hereby give warning, that if the voluntary prin- 
ciple is admitted, and those who please may pay, 
it must not be expected that landlords will con- 
tribute as now by law compelled, and fifty 
pounds ought to be divided by five in estimating 
the future incomes of Protestant clergy from this 

In some parishes one-third of the incumbent's 
stipend is paid by one gentleman, and though he 
were as high a Tory as poor Colonel Sibthorpe, 
and as thorough-going a Churchman as an Ox- 
ford Don, I feel certain that any one thus cir- 

374 a s axon's remedy 

cumstanced would argue with, himself about his 
family duties till he had reduced his contribution 
to very small dimensions. 

Being an interested party, I have thought it 
right to state these matters plainly. Equally 
without disguise I maintain that the proper plan 
to follow (if it would be agreeable to Irishmen 
generally) is for the Government to receive all 
the income now payable for religious and educa- 
tional purposes,, and allot a certain sum for each 
district, according to population, paying the clergy 
of each denomination according to the amount 
of the regular congregation, and allowing certain 
fees for marriages, &c. ; in fact, in many respects 
following the continental system. All the money 
granted for educational purposes, or which has 
been left by persons anxious to promote this 
object, should be devoted to schools. The 
masters should be elected for proficiency, and 
provided that their character is good, their creed 
should not be considered. 

Protestant boys should receive religious in- 


struction from their clergymen, Eoman Catholic 
pupils from their priests. 

The most enlightened men in England and 
Ireland approve of this mode of settling the 
question, and as it is the just and proper one, 
which would not admit of any charge of favour- 
ing one religion at the expense of another, or of 
increasing the line of demarcation between 
Catholics and Protestants, I shall be very glad 
to see it carried out. 

It is fair to state, however, that a large num- 
ber of the Catholic party in Ireland advocate 
the reservation of a certain fair but not extrava- 
gant portion of the ecclesiastical revenues of 
Ireland towards the payment of the Protestant 
clergy. After that they say, that as their mi- 
nisters of religion will not accept any Government 
pay, but will rely, as at present, upon their con- 
gregations, all the residue of the immense 
revenues of the Protestant Church and all the 
money now devoted to National Schools should 
be divided numerically between the religious de- 

376 . a saxon's remedy 

nominations of Ireland for educational purposes. 
Also, that under certain inspectorship there 
should be separate Catholic and Protestant col- 
leges, and middle and lower class schools. 

This, I know, is the wish of a very powerful 
body, and it is between the two plans that I have 
sketched, the Legislature will have to choose. 

I altogether reject the idea of taking the pro- 
perty of the Church to lessen the poor-rates. If 
it is decided not to pay Protestant clergymen at 
all, I should consider an injustice was committed, 
though the present system of excessive remunera- 
tion is ridiculous, and cannot continue. I shall 
also regret if Eoman Catholic clergymen refuse to 
receive the payment to which they are entitled, 
and, as I said before, the reception of remunera- 
tion from the State is, in my opinion, the proper 
way of ending the matter. 

It is, I consider, of vital importance to make 
the Irish Eoman Catholic clergy part of the 
English Government system, and if their flocks 
are contented by a satisfactory adjustment of the 


land question, I cannot see how the priesthood 
would he placed in a false position by accept- 
ing their just dues from the sovereign who rules 
so many millions q{ people professing different 

It is because I feel convinced that until the 
the land question is settled, the Catholic clergy 
will not accept any stipend, lest by so doing they 
incur the charge of deserting the cause of their 
brethren, bought by the gold of the Saxon, that 
I am so desirous an equitable arrangement should 
be made on this most important matter. 

At present the whole of the Catholic clergy, 
from Cardinal Cullen downwards, are heart and 
soul with the occupiers and cultivators of land, 
and though certainly not disloyal, they are apt 
to regard the acts of the English Govern- 
ment with very critical eyes, and to blame our 
institutions for many things not properly charge- 
able upon them, The object of all legislation 
should be to make the clergy part of the social 
system, and (while giving every man the full 

378 a saxon's remedy 

right to his religious opinions, and extending 
to all equal privileges and advantages) to exer- 
cise the control of the State impartially, and 
allow no dominant creed to overawe the rest. 
Thus the Irish Catholic clergy should, if possible, 
be induced to forget former ill-feeling, to forgive 
the unjust persecution of olden times, and unite 
with the moderate party in Ireland and England 
in bridging over the few miles of sea between 
the two islands, and making the two people as 
one, smoothing the passage of capitalists and 
manufacturers to the " land of saints," and direct- 
ing the steps of such of their flock as cannot live 
in comfort in their own land to the shores of the 
" Saxon," if there is an opening for them, or to 
the colonies belonging to" the "United King- 
doms of Great Britain and Ireland," where will- 
ing hands and hearts are even more sure to make 
their way than in the dear and highly-taxed 
dominions of the American Eepublic. The 
Catholic clergy have much to forgive, for even 
now hardly any Irish Protestant writes of them 


with more than toleration, and they have also 
something to unlearn ; but I have great confi- 
dence in their good sense and true patriotism when 
convinced of our hearty desire to do our duty 
and act for the benefit of every class and every 

Thus I hope we may settle the matter on 
the basis of paying each clergyman, priest, and 
minister in Ireland the stipend he who fulfils 
his duty richly deserves, and that we shall not 
continue to see highly-paid Church dignitaries 
doing nothing, curates, temporary or perpetual, 
in that miserable position immortalized by Mr. 
Trollope at Hogglestock, and parish priests who, 
being unsalaried by Government, can be stigma- 
tized as " fee-loving," " encouragers of pauper 
marriages," " poor men's pence takers/' with even 
that foundation of fact upon which such scan- 
dalous charges could be built. 

There would be much less difficulty in dealing 
with educational matters, if this question of re- 
ceiving money from the State were ended, as I 

380 a s axon's remedy 

still hope it will be, by the heads of the Catholic 

There is an immense amount of property left 
for educational purposes lying unused in Ireland. 
In the county where I have chiefly resided I 
know of considerable accumulations of funds, 
and though I have taken much trouble, and 
written innumerable letters, nothing is done. It 
seems impossible to get at the board or minister 
who has power to move. Occasionally you find 
the chief delinquent has something to do with 
the decision on his own case, but generally you 
find the whole affair fully reported upon in some 
Blue Book or other, and that the matter went to 
sleep when the abuse was chronicled. The com- 
missions appointed never have any power, and 
the various boards tell me they have none. I 
have sometimes wished we had a thoroughly 
enlightened despot in Ireland for about three 
years. I need not say I can indicate the exact 
individual who combines judicious firmness with 
merciful consideration, perfect freedom from pre- 


judice, and total disregard of both the efforts 
of factious agitators (whose ravings would be 
speedily silenced), and of the exploded, narrow- 
minded ideas of the opponents of advanced civi- 
lization, &c. However, as this preparation for a 
millenium in " Green Erin" is not likely to 
take place, I hope the corporate bodies through- 
out Ireland, as well as the Boards of Education, 
will be at once communicated w T ith, and some 
very decided measures taken with all those who 
hold funds in their hands, or who have misap- 
propriated them. Very large sums are accumu- 
lated, and even the English Government has 
carelessly allowed considerable amounts of money 
which the forethought of former viceroys des- 
tined for the education of the Irish people, to be 
diverted from their legitimate direction. Educa- 
tion is a term which may be variously applied. 
In Ireland the study of agriculture is as well 
worthy of a professorship as in the Augustine 
age, and though w r e may despair of discovering a 
Virgil to instruct, yet we may institute colleges 

382 a saxon's remedy 

on the millions of acres there, which are now 
unprofitable, but which instances I have quoted 
in this work show may be, without loss, trans- 
ferred to tenants who will grow corn, and feed 
cattle and sheep, where at present only turf is 
cut, and where only the plover and widgeon find 
a resting-place. 

How to farm profitably, not according to 
theory but practice, to inculcate deep ploughing, 
to secure large but not exhausting crops, to 
show the advantage of plentiful manuring, of 
stock fed judiciously and fattened early, how to 
select and feed cows that will give the maximum 
of butter, and how to preserve that butter fresh 
and fit for the English consumer, these are ques- 
tions more valuable for the youth of Ireland to 
solve, than abstruse considerations as to the 
flowers the bees sucked which produced the 
poisonous honey that played so important a part 
in the history of the Ten Thousand. 

With whatever faults the Irish are legitimately 
charged, disinclination to learn is certainly not 


amongst them. I am always alarmed at enter- 
ing into conversation with a policeman, who 
usually rejects such subjects as shooting or 
fishing, and very respectfully puzzles me with 
questions about a Greek chorus, squaring the 
circle, the Ides of March, perpetual motion, or 
something painfully learned, and I get rid of 
him by saying there is a wandering pig or 
donkey on the road half a mile off. Lord Bar- 
rington's waiter, who quoted Latin proverbs 
when the dirty table-cloth was objected to, is 
nothing to a model serjeant of the constabulary, 
who is a cross between the Admirable Crichton 
and Guy Livingstone, and far more worthy to 
be a hero of romance than either. Without 
badinage, an Irishman is a more promising sub- 
ject to educate than an Englishman, and if that 
education is made practical and suitable to the 
wants of the country, I honestly believe an 
immense deal of good may be done in the next 
ten years. 

How much blame is due to those who profess 


A saxon's remedy 

to believe that education means conversion to 
Protestantism, and who have nevertheless neg- 
lected that important point, and allowed the 
money left by will for such purposes to go to 
waste, or be otherwise mis-appropriated, I will 
not attempt to decide ! 

I have now completed my task. I have some- 
where read that no man is modest after forty ; 
now I will not attempt to be modest, but though 
I have written the foregoing chapters in a few 
weeks, and am aware that they are destitute of 
literary ability, to which indeed they do not 
pretend, I claim one great merit for them, 
namely, that they truly and impartially repre- 
sent the actual facts of the great Irish question. 
It is hardly possible for any man who has ordi- 
nary intelligence, and has lived so long as I have 
in Ireland, to be more disinterested. The mea- 
sures I have advocated might remotely interest 
my descendants, but they could not add sixpence 
to my income, and perhaps from an over scrupu- 
lousness, I have not pressed the claims of the 


landlords to favour, respecting the tithe rent- 
charge, because any allowance in that respect 
would benefit me. Several landowners have 
made me very handsome offers, and I never had 
a dispute in my life with an Irish landed pro- 
prietor. My opinion and my testimony are 
valuable, because my prejudices are directly con- 
trary to the convictions I have been forced 
deliberately to entertain. I go with the tenants 
and with the Eoman Catholics because my con- 
science tells me they have right on their side, 
and because I see, as any unprejudiced English- 
man must see if he has lived in Ireland, and 
sought out the truth as I have done, that the 
people and the priests have been wrongfully 
used. Far greater and far more eloquent men 
than myself have discussed Irish questions, but 
splendid advocates like Mr. Butt and Mr. Bright 
are practically unacquainted with the effect pro- 
duced by the years of misrule amongst the Irish 
tenantry, popular as both these gentlemen are 
in Ireland ; and Lord Dufferin can only see the 

c c 

386 a s axon's remedy 

faults in the Church management, and ignores 
the defects of Irish landlords ; clever and well- 
meaning as he is, he cannot see why a landlord 
should not exercise the right of doing precisely 
as he likes with his own. 

As a gentleman farming five thousand statute 
acres said about leases the other day : " It is a 
question if we are to be slaves or not, if I am 
worth 30,000/. or a fourth of that sum, for if I 
were turned out at six months' notice, the 
manure I have in the land is worth 4000/. ; that 
would be sacrificed, my stock must be sold at a 
less price, and my implements, farming utensils, 
&c, would realize very little, while my con- 
nexion in trade must be lost ; for where can I 
get such farms as my grandfather and father 
have procured and improved for so many long 
years ? True, my three landlords are not likely 
to get rid of me, but if they are not, what is the 
objection to make me secure of remaining?" 

I claim therefore to be the first unprejudiced, 
well-informed "Saxon" who has studied the 


Irish questions, and given the pros and cons 
without humbug, and to have laid bare many 
things studiously concealed, or not previously 

Though I may have made some errors in sta- 
tistics or dates, I beg those who may think my 
work worthy of notice, not to doubt my facts 
and descriptions. I have had to trust to memory 
only, which serves me well in describing events, 
but is not first rate in numerals. I beg also 
those gentlemen who may deem the volume 
worth criticizing, to aid me, at any rate, in 

settling the great landlord and tenant question. 

Millions of their fellow subjects are anxiously 
waiting, and it must be speedily arranged. A 
plain and thorough, not fanciful and elaborate, 
legislature is required. 

Let them remember that Ireland is not Eng- 
land, but an island held as a conquered country 
for generations, where all attempts at trade were 
crushed at their first development, lest they 
should affect the reign of England's commerce. 

388 a saxon's remedy 

Let them remember also that every one, 
whether Catholic or Protestant, landlord or 
tenant, is sore and discontented about some- 
thing, and that we must legislate now out of 
the regular course of law, even as we did when 
the Encumbered Estates Act was passed. 

New and strong remedies are termed " quacke- 
ries" by some people, but they are "inspira- 
tions of genius" when they cure. Though, as I 
say, Ireland is not England, pray do not err the 
other way, and quote Devon Commissions and 
old-world facts against me. Do not ignore the 
famine, emigration, railways, and the march of 
intellect, and tell the thousands who take their 
belief from your dictation, that if an Irishman 
has ten acres of land and ten children he will 
divide his farm amongst them ; and do not quote 
some report of ninety years ago, as a very in- 
telligent reviewer did this month of March, 
1868, to prove the assertion. 

Pray remember the Abyssinians reject beads 
and brass buttons and prefer dollars, and that 


money and money's worth are appreciated even 
amongst those outer barbarians the Minister 
and Connaught peasantry, who are every day 
leaving the chance of starvation and a bit of 
land for plenty elsewhere, and who, as railways, 
education, and civilization are introduced, will 
become more desirous to be independent and 
well fed. 

Lastly, I beg them to assist me in encouraging 
the present Government in their crusade both 
against the Fenian conspiracy and the intempe- 
rate exhibition of Orange bigotry in the north, 
and in causing every inhabitant of these islands 
to understand that matters will be henceforward 
so managed that the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland shall have no ill-fitting joint 
in its armour through which any insidious foe 
can smite. 



bath l, edwaeds and co., printers, chandos stbeet, 
covkkt garden. 


MAR 20 1997